How then should we view the Fort McMurray Alliance Church? Part III of III.

The last few weeks I have been working through Brad Jersak’s January 15th sermon at the Alliance Church. As has already been documented in the prior two posts, [Part I and Part II]Brad introduces and argues several heterodox and anti-biblical positions to the congregation, and every indication seems to be that he was able to do so without correction or reproof. I contacted the Alliance Church with a few questions about the sermon. I’ve been listening to their podcasts for several years now and there was no indication that the Church believed or taught these things, and I wanted to ask whether or not they agreed with Brad Jersak and were in the process of advancing these theologies and biblical hermeneutic. They chose not to respond back and as they don’t believe there can be such thing as a godly critic, they don’t intend to ever.

In light of this, the last part of these posts is some points to ponder, as well as the thought of how should we treat the Alliance Church in light of them giving a platform and a voice to what I would consider an extremely toxic and poisonous sermon.

1. I still don’t know how the Alliance Church views this sermon and whether or not they agree with the content. The Alliance Church kept the sermon posted for over a month. It was only in the last week or so, after I posted part II of my review, that they took it down. It you go and look for it you’ll see it missing from their website. This suggests to me that either they do not ultimately support it, or that they do support it and removed it to minimize the controversy. If something is false teaching and heresy, you don’t leave it up for a month. If you don’t agree with it, you don’t post it in the first place! This demonstrates a severe lack of wisdom.

I also note that even though the sermon was preached and posted publicly, that there is no public confession of error. There is no accompanying sermon, message, blog post, or update indicating why they removed it or whether or not they are against it. Have they apologized to their congregation after the fact? Did they take the time the next Sunday to do the research I have done, and set the congregation straight on the Trinity, Church fathers, view of heaven, hell, the character of God and the atonement of Christ? Did they teach on this as a rebuttal to Brad Jersak? It does not seem so, and this is a problem. If you post something publicly, you should denounce it publicly. The fact is that they have not done so, which may lead many conclude that they do indeed support this message and the theological content.

2. The Alliance Church leadership showed a lack of wisdom in inviting Brad Jersak to speak in the first place. Assuming they do not agree with it, they should have done better research on this individual to see what he teaches and confesses. The preaching of the word of God is a sacred duty, and it must be done correctly. It took me only an hour or two to do some preliminary research on the man and the red flags were coming fast and furious. The fact that they exposed the flock to this false teacher without knowing his theological proclivities and idiosyncrasies is extremely troubling and suggests a lack of care for the pulpit and the sermon.

3. The fact that no one stood up and said something is a damning indictment. The Alliance Church still has Brad’s weekend seminars up, and listening to them should have been an adequate precursor to let them know that the sermon wasn’t going to be good. I have not reviewed them, and will not do so unless specifically asked, but when you have 45 minutes of a man teaching about mystical, esoteric spirituality with lots of stories and no bible verses, that’s a problem. But as bad as that was, it was no match for the sermon which was theological cyanide.

So why didn’t the pastor stand up and say something? Why didn’t the elders stand up and say something? What a horrific abdication of their duties to their flock and their responsibility towards Christ. They should have interrupted him 5 minutes in, publicly rebuked him, asked him to leave, apologize to the congregation, and used this as a teachable moment to display humility, confession, and discernment. It’s not rude, it’s their job! That would have been extremely commendable. Instead they demonstrated their tolerance for wolves and we get 50 minutes of slaughtering the sheep while the pastors, elders, deacons and even laypeople stayed silent and shut up. This is a complete failure and breakdown on their part and suggests a systematic cowardice that is not in line with their call to be shepherds and watchmen.

In any case, this mess leaves us with two possibilities and one hope. The first is that the Alliance Church and their leadership Terry, Bonnie, and Val support this man, message and new theological direction. If this is the case, then I cannot recommend the Fort McMurray Alliance Church as a good and safe Church to attend, and would desire that everyone attending get out as fast as they can.

The second possibility is that they don’t support the man, message and theological direction. If this is the case then the lack of discernment that they have demonstrated in their handling of this whole affair is so great that it has penetrated and tainted the very ethos of the leadership team and the fabric of the congregation. For this reason I don’t believe they can be trusted to soberly bring the word and rightly divide the word of truth; that they cannot be counted on to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” in a way that befits a congregation supposedly dedicated to Christ and his truth. In light of this, I believe it would be best for Church members look elsewhere for spiritual instruction, as I cannot recommend them.

And lastly is my hope. I would hope that the Alliance Church repents of this little stunt and would return to faithful, biblical preaching. I would hope that they would publicly confess that having Brad Jersak speak was a mistake, that the beliefs he eschewed were dangerous and unorthodox, that he was guilty of just being factually wrong and having poor logic in many of his arguments, and that they failed in their duty to protect the flock.  If this were to happen,  I would reconsider my conclusions that people should cease going, and would suggest that they would be restored as a congregation in which people ought to attend.

16 thoughts on “How then should we view the Fort McMurray Alliance Church? Part III of III.

  1. Even as I begin to type this comment, I am immediately regretting it. That’s because by engaging you in relation to this drummed up “controversy”, I know I am helping to satisfy your desire for attention, whether good or bad.

    I find it funny, that you are surprised, when people decline to comment or engage you. You have a track record of being ruthlessly critical of people’s words, and so an interview with you, I imagine, probably feels more like an interrogation.

    Your desire to be right, and more so, for people to know you are right, thwarts your ability to actually be an effective catalyst for change. Merely saying what you do is done in love, does not make it so.

    I may agree with you, that Brad Jersak may not have been an appropriate speaker to invite. But do I think that this is a “damning indictment” of the church leaders, and congregation of the Alliance Church? Give me a break, Dustin. The Fort McMurray Alliance Church is a place where single mothers can come and know they will be met with open arms. A place where the despondent and those rejected by society can find rest and grace. It is a place that takes care of the widow, and has fathers for the fatherless. It is a place where strong and weak; educated and uneducated; young and old; right and wrong; find common ground in their desire to know God, and make him known.

    I’ve said it to you before, that I do enjoy your blog. You have an incredible knowledge of the word of God, and you are a talented writer. But the way you have decided steam roll people and churches, has just turned you into a clanging symbol. It’s too bad really, because you could do a lot of good.

    If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge… but have not love, I am nothing.

  2. Hi Lucas. First of all, thank you for taking the time to write this. Its always good to hear feedback, and I do give a lot of time and thought to any comments in the combox. I also wanted you to know that if you ever write me anything privately, it will stay that way, as I never use private correspondences as fodder for public posts.

    I don’t believe you can offer a single instance of when I have been ruthlessly critical that was written with the intent of getting attention. I have uplifted, praise and edified when it has warranted, and I have been critical when it has been required. But being critical isn’t a bad thing. It is another side of the same coin, and necessarily flows out of a kindness and care for people and for Christ and his Church, when done in the right spirit. I have seen blogs and people though who have been poisonous and unwarranted in their critiques. They don’t back up what they say scripturally or biblically, and instead make subjective, personal attacks. I don’t think the same thing can be said of my blog.

    In terms of my interviews, they are nothing like interrogations. I have each one posted on my blog in the pastoral q&a section, and anyone can hear them and judge for themselves. I will say though that everyone I have talked with has enjoyed themselves, even people that I have significant theological differences with, and would say that I have been friendly to a fault.

    It wasn’t that he was an inappropriate speaker. It was that he was a flat out awful speaker who introduced and taught crazily bad ideas. Lucas, he said the gospel that Terry, Val and Bonnie have been preaching is NOT THE GOSPEL. That you guys have been preaching heresy. He told that to your entire congregation. He dared say that to the single mothers, to the despondent, to those rejected by society. He attacked your Church’s historical ideas of God, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, Sin, God’s character, God’s love, Salvation, etc. I hope that bothers you a fraction as much as it does me!

    And yet what you are essentially saying is that its not a big deal that Brad preached his sermon and taught his theodicies because your Church is one of love and acceptance. That the centrality of God’s word and truth being preached correctly takes a back seat to loving people. But when you expose them to this sort of teaching, that’s not love at all. You are harming them. You are lifting them from the muck and mire with one hand, and slapping them in the face with the other.

    You categorize my post as simply a desire to be right, for attention, done not out of love, but in the spirit of ruthless criticism. But Lucas, you are making ad hominem attacks without dealing biblically with the substance of my concerns. Why can’t we deal biblically with what I’ve said? Why can’t your response address the care and precision that I undertook to make a biblical case as to why this was so bad?

    Because here’s the thing- you guys are great in your relational ministry. I think this is obvious to anyone who goes there. I’m not just saying that either- I have said as much to one of your elders last year- that the Alliance is phenomenal at being a community of love and acceptance. But communal love cannot be a substitute for the truth of the gospel and of the scriptures, especially when that truth is meant to buttress and support love, not divide it with inane dichotomies.

    Is it a damning indictment? Yes, it is. Should someone have stopped him and stood up? Yes, they should have. Can you guys learn from this and move on, yes, you can. But not unless this is acknowledged, and not until the lack of wisdom in handling this whole affair is brought to light. I hope you guys do this, for the sake of those single mothers, for the ones hurting and hopeless, for the socially marginalized and for the forsaken. They need love, absolutely, and part of love is solid preaching and the faithful handling of the word of god and proclamation of the gospel, not someone telling them that your church has been preaching a false heretical gospel.

  3. I totally agree with what Lucas wrote. Listening to what you have to say is painful. My head hurts like I’ve stood in front of a loud speaker all night and my spirit is often left feeling restless and annoyed. Mainly because you get off tearing down the Body of Christ. Your words do nothing to advance the Kingdom of God because there is no grace or love in your words. I’m not only speaking of what you wrote of the alliance church but of many of your opinions you have felt inclined to share. FMAC may not be our church anymore because we don’t live there but they are still our family and you have set your sights on attacking them too many times. I have not listened to Brads sermon but in response as to why they have not responded to you on the subject, I wouldn’t either if I were in their shoes. You are a cyber bully. If people don’t engage in debating you it probably because most people avoid bullys.You are like a gossip columnist looking for his next juicy details. I wouldn’t give you any information that you could twist and construe to suit your needs. I do not know what Brad said but I do know Brad. My mother is very good friends with him and his wife. She has had numerous theological discussions with him and she would be the first to say she does not always agree with him. But she would also say he has sometimes stretched her especially in the area of listening and hearing God. By the way my mom has a masters in Old Testament history and theology that she received from Regent Theological Seminary. And she has studied under professors like J. I. Packer. She knows her stuff. By the way where did you get you theological training. And if you ever took the time to go the Brads church in abbotsford you would be blown away by the people who attend there. When Mike and I went we were amazed to see the sanctuary filled with the mentally handicapped and physically disabled and their families. A gentleman with Downs Syndrome led the call to worship that would have made you cry at the purity and simpleness of his words. Many of the mentally handicapped members were also involved in leading the worship time. It may not have been the best music to listen to but it was a deeply moving worship time. Brad has made these people and their families feel welcome, loved, and like they have a place to belong without judgement or annoyance because of the noises that are often made. That is a man who knows how to show and express love and acceptance. Maybe you can learn something from him. Even if you respond to this post I have no intention of engaging in any debates with you. You’ve shared your thoughts, and so have I.

    • Kim, again, thank you for responding and taking the time to work out this issue.

      I have to again object to several things you have said. Far from tearing down the body of Christ, I would suggest that I am helping strengthen it. I think you would agree that when one takes the time to expose error and false teaching that is occurring in the midst of Church, then that is a good thing. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” I think this does advance the kingdom of God.

      Kim, I hope that you can appreciate my reiteration that you have not made a biblical case against what I have said, but have resorted to name calling and more personal attacks without dealing with the substance. You are simply making an emotional plea in light of a scriptural argument.

      Case in point your mothers experiences with Brad Jersak. I have not called him cruel names or said he is of a bad moral character I said I’m sure he is a nice man who loves his family and friends. That is why I believe you when you talk about his Church. I have listened to dozens of hours of podcasts and seminars and sermons from him, and I have no reason to doubt you.

      But that doesn’t excuse anything. Christian cultists treat and love people. Mormons and JW’s love people and show love to the mentally handicapped and ill. That’s no excuse for bad and false teaching. If I wrote a post about the Mormons believe in millions of Gods and how we should not view them as brothers in Christ, would you accuse me of tearing down the Body of Christ and not speaking truth in love, because your mother knows a good Mormon who is kind to her neighbours and engages in meaningful relationship with them?

      What you are essentially saying is that it doesn’t matter what Brad teaches or believes, because he is excused from that due to his love for people. Or that even if he teaches something weird, that its not that big of a deal, because he excels in another area.

      I don’t know why this communal love takes precedent over the truth of the scriptures, and why there seems to be a willingness to jettison it in order to preserve a sense of unity, when in fact no true unity can exist if we are not united in the truth of the gospel and united against the errors of heresy and false teachings. True love and true community blooms and flourishes when we are in one accord with Christ and are following his commandments.

      Lastly I don’t have much if any formal bible training, but that’s not an argument against me. There are men who have far more training and degrees from bible colleges that don’t even believe that Jesus was a real person, and so simply appealing to education doesn’t work.

      I would love to talk about this stuff, but it has to be on my terms, which are that we use scripture to hash this stuff out, not appeals to emotion or name calling.

    • No mention of what a great guy Brad is, how his church has a large percentage of severely handicapped people, what a generous family man he is who has time for people eh.

      These “gardians of the faith” make my head hurt! Where is the love? Jesus said that God is like Him, if you want to know the Father get to know Jesus. Any conclusion that we come to about God from the Old Testiment which causes us to see the Father as different than Jesus must cause us to question how our theology has led us to come to this conclusion.

  4. 2 Thes.2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth,[a] before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you[b] as crucified?

    2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

    Col 1:28 Him (Jesus Christ) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

    2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

    Jeremiah 6:17 Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.

    Dustin be encouraged my friend.

  5. I feel you must be under pressure to be God’s judge, Jury and executioner! You mentioned how you have a connection and like for the Alliance Church – I think I speak for many when I say we can do without it. You are allowed your opinion and you do have valid points but since you do not attend the church you have NO IDEA what’s going on ! You are an intelligent man and your digging into the truth is commendable, but have you thought YOUR word is not Gospel but your own (human) interpretation? Dustin you need to get out of the basement and into society making relationships so you can truly be heard and respected.

    • T/B. Thank you for joining in the conversation and offering your thoughts. I would again have to suggest that you are not offering a biblical rebuttal, but rather are just making personal attacks.

      You said I have valid points. Which ones are valid, and more importantly what makes them so? Can my points be the result of a close examination of scriptures.

      You said that I have no idea what;s going on there. In a way that is true. I don’t attend now, though I did for almost two years, and in fact I led small group bible studies there as well. Even then, I am commenting on a very specific sermon and the circumstances surrounding it. It could be any church and any congregation and I would respond the same way.

      Lastly, would it surprise you If I told you that I was contacted by 6 different people who attend your Church, 2 which are members, and they were the ones who purposefully asked me to respond and unpack this sermon? Would that make any difference at all?

  6. Lucas. What If you heard about an event that you did not attend, but you had family and friends who did. And the speaker got up and started talking about your wife. And he gave her a few compliments, told the crowd that she was lovely and had a great personality and so forth, but then started to say “let me tell you something about her. Even though she’s nice and sweet, she actually a whore. She sleeps around with any guy that will look at her and she epitomizes an unfaithful wife. She’s also been addicted to black tar heroin for a few years now, and she gave birth to a child when when she was 14 but the baby was taken away from her because she was always hitting and shaking the baby.”

    If you heard about that, as a good husband, you’d be outraged. Not only that, but you would be upset and livid that your friends and family just sat there while some guy told lies about you and your beloved. You’d scream at them “how could you just sit there and stay silent as he said those things!?” And then what if you were to find out that not only did they not say anything, they uploaded the video to the internet and shared it with their friends and to the public for over a month? You’d rail at them “you were supposed to uplift and uphold us!You were supposed to build up and protect our relationship and our marriage and our reputation, not sit by while someone slanders and denigrates and abuses my wife.”

    ..

    ..

    And how much worse is it when someone denigrates the character of God and the glory of his gospel?

  7. How then should we view the paper thin hymn?

    Let me start by giving away my position – I am not a student of theology, nor have I studied the lifes work of Brad Jersak, and I am not privy to the inner workings of the FMAC leadership and their decision making regarding this issue. I do attend, and was present to hear the sermon in question – my first time hearing anything from the man – just as this is my first time reading one of your writings (although I have heard your opinions many times in person)

    Now that that is established, I will continue by stroking your ego as many (perhaps too many) have in saying that you have a lot of knowledge, and a lot of time on your hands to research and your efforts should not be ignored. Unfortunately, for the most part they are – that is unless you blatantly attack and call people out without merit.

    So the “issue” at hand – yet another sermon which you successfully poked holes in using biblical truth carefully researched and filtered through your own personal beliefs and biases. All of which are valid points and there is no need to argue with. However, I will pose it to you that perhaps while fixating on details and pieces of the sermon which are “in you wheelhouse” so to speak, you completely misunderstood the context in which the message was delivered – and yes as detailed as you broke down every word – you missed the point altogether… one of those can’t see the forest for the trees kind of things.

    Here’s just one example – you proposed that Brad himself propped up a “caricature” of God that was inaccurate in order to knock down to advance his own position. What he was doing was not creating his own caricature, or claiming in any way that this caricature was biblically supported. Rather he was showing what the gospel in it’s traditional delivery is often misconstrued as, or understood to be by non believers or new believers. You have never encountered a non-christian or Christian for that matter who believes that when they sin they must hide from God, turn from God, or that God turns his back on them? Really? See Tiredofblowhards reference to getting out of the basement…

    In essence his entire sermon, poorly delivered as it may have been, could be boiled down into this… God’s love for you is incredible and regardless of where you are at he wants you to turn to Him and not away from Him. For this he is a heretic? Perhaps you would have preferred a long winded theology heavy lecture – perhaps the intended audience (the lost) would have tuned out on the message that god loves them and wants them to turn towards him. This message reaches, and from several conversations regarding this particular sermon reached people. And to counter that, some people will respond to fire and brimstone gospel messages – funny thing about God – he is hard to completely capture in one sermon.

    So that’s all I am going to say about the sermon, my bigger issue is with the delivery of your counter-sermon .

    Dustin – again as Lucas has said, and has been repeated numerous times, not to be discounted the fact that it is by people that used to be in community with you and hold your opinions in high regard – simply saying you are acting in love does not make it so.

    You claim this is a gift to our church, and leaders, and that you mean no disrespect to them or Brad Jersak – but then immediately turn to call them unwise, cowards and heretics among other things. If you were a part of our church or perhaps just not had the reputation that you hold I am 100% confident that you would have been addressed. As it is, your belief that the FMAC leaders somehow owed you some explanation for their actions is laughable, whether before or after you slammed them and put words in their mouth… which staff member specifically told you that they do not believe in a godly critic by the way? As long as we are picking words apart. I will not speak for them as you have, but I could imagine if they were to feel the need to justify these things to you it might sound something like… while you were preparing your case against us we were busy fulfilling what we feel God has called us to in this community. That is by helping families who lost everything in a fire rebuild their lives among other things in that mandate and in doing so were trying to demonstrating the love of Christ.

    I have never heard anyone in probably dozens of people who have read your blog in the past (referring completely to before this post as obviously several more are added to that list) that felt it was done in a loving, respectful or even vaguely constructive way.

    I have personally known of a few people who have poured their hearts into a sermon, with the sole desire to be used by God and grow his kingdom through their words who have been very distraught and subsequently discouraged from preaching the gospel again. When contrasted with Brad Jersak’s sermon after which at least people were encouraged towards God, it begs the question, who is the real wolf here?

    Your critiques – valid or not, are meant solely for theological debate and self edification and not for loving correction as evidenced by their posting on a public forum often unbeknownst to the subject, and using an incredible vocabulary that makes your views cloudy and unattainable to most who read them. How’s that for cowardice?

    I am aware of the irony in my entire argument. That I clearly do not have a loving tone, that I clearly focused on one aspect of your rebuttal alone ignoring all your other points (which as I said before I don’t even necessarily disagree with from a biblical standpoint – no need to point out that I am not quoting scripture).

    You can stay in denial if you wish – I am confronting you with some facts which are not written in the bible as things like the internet and blogs had not been invented yet. I hope you will at least consider them despite this as they do make up some telling anecdotal evidence contrary to your belief and possibly intent to be of service or use to the church community in Fort McMurray.

    You say an opportunity for a display of humility, confession and discernment was missed – well here’s that ball back in your court…

    Care to readdress 1 Corinthians 13: 1-2?

  8. Hi Andrew, Welcome to the blog and I hope you stick around awhile.

    As for me attacking people and calling people out without merit, you would have to show me where I have done that. If you are referring to Brad Jersak, all I can assume is that you believe nothing of what he said deserved to be called out or “attacked without merit” In which case I would disagree with you.

    As for me poking holes using the bible and my own filters of bias and personal belief, I completely agree with you that I do have my own presuppositions about the scriptures. If you disagree with how I’ve interpreted the scriptures of how I’ve presented the apologetic, then by all means please respond and show me otherwise! I would love to have someone make a case biblically that we can wrestle with and be bereans together.

    I keep on trying to bring this discussion back to the bible and am desirous to undergo a careful examination of the scriptures. I’m not sure if you are saying my points are subjectively valid or objectively valid, but if you believed my points really were objectively valid, I’m not sure we would be having this discussion..?

    I’ve given some thought to your context/missing the forest for the trees, and so I’ve listened to Brad’s sermon again, trying to do so in the spirit that you’ve presented, and after all was said and done nothing changed. My attempt broke down, primarily because there are just so many rotting and dead trees in this forest.

    Case in point, Brad said “What bothers me about this version is how fickle God is. He is the God who turns from us and turns towards us and turns from and and turns toward us and also he’s a little bit like…. you know…. the one who has to torture his own Son in order to get his anger off his chest. I shared this with Archbishop Lazaure of the Eastern Orthodox Church.. and he goes “that’s not Yahweh, that’s Molech”

    .He is not arguing that this is how other people or the unsaved see him,as you have suggested but rather this is how he personally views and understands the God of penal substitution. Nothing about new believers here at all, rather he tied everything back to how he understood God and what he believed about God. And yet no one who holds this position would ever suggest that God is anything like that. That makes it a caricature.

    Its not about how the gospel is traditionally delivered or supported, because how do we typically give it for the past 50 years? Jesus loves you, ask him into your heart and he’ll save you” or some variation. Thats not offensive to anybody, and when we present that, no one really gets into atonement theories. Instead he is making the case that our understanding of the atonement is fatally flawed and is morally bankrupt.

    I have met tons of people who have the wrong idea of God, and that when they sin they ought to hide from God. Again, there’s no reason to resort to personal attacks, as every person who has responded thus far in negation has done. When I encounter these people, I like to talk about the extravagance of God’s grace and mercy, and the awesome, wonderful, beautiful unfairness of it all.

    The sermon wasn’t just poorly delivered. It was poorly conceived and was presented with all sorts of things about God that were untrue! There is no reason to minimize that. I don’t want a lecture, but don’t you want something that is theology heavy? Don’t you want something that goes deep into the knowledge of God? Don’t you want the truth about God’s character, even if it is presented in a simple way? Why couldn’t he have said that God’s love is incredible, and then make a biblical case for it that was in line with the arc of the scriptures? If you were there, why are you so willing to accept these false things that were said, and then argue with me that it’s ok because he was talking about God’s love, which cannot even be biblically defined in the way that he presents it?

    Did he present the idea that God loves them? Yes, he did. But what kind of love is it? And what sort of false teaching did the congregation have to endure to receive it? They were told that God was love all right, as they were told that your leadership have been preaching a false gospel for years now, and that your church’s view of heaven, hell and salvation have been wrong and need an upgrade. But its ok to tell them that, because those are just the trees, when we need to look at the forest that was his arcing message that god loves us?

    I’ll respond to the rest a little later today, because I do want to delve into this issue of speaking truth and love, and do want to give a proper biblical exegesis of 1 corinthians 12.
    .

  9. continuing on where I left off, I absolutely stand by my assertion that the way this was handled was unwise, thought I might amend my claim of systematic cowardice. It was only cowardice if they believed it was wrong and that the theology was destructive and damaging. If they were agreement with the theology and the message, then it would not be fair to call them cowards, but it would be fair to question their discernment and suggest that there is a severe lack of biblical discernment in effect.

    I don’t think I am owed anything. It would be nice to get a response but I have no expectations of receiving one. I do find that unfortunate, because I am kind soul with good intentions and I think my blog belays my care, concern and love I have for people and for the words and heart of God.

    I do understand and appreciate the community of love and grace that has been the lynchpin of the Alliance Church. I’ve said it many times here on this blog and if anyone asked I would boldly defend that sense of community and belonging that is fostered there. I am also extremely grateful for the efforts and generosity that has been generated by your Church towards the victims of the fire. It has been a wonderful encouragement to see that love and faith in action, and it is a great blessing and example to everyone around. Though it may be of little comfort and may not matter, I did postpone blogging about this for quite a while out of deference to the work of the ministry that was being undertaken, and to minimize the distraction that would take place once I posted it.

    At the same time though, you are again minimizing what was preached and how it was received. The content of the sermon is excused because you guys were helping out somebody, and that was more important and someone twisting the bible in front of the congregation? You are also supposing that I did nothing to help anyone who was involved in the fire, and that I was not being a good neighbour to those who needed my help. And yet I was. I was doing both, because both are important.

    I’m sorry that the people you have encountered have not appreciated the blog. I do take some of the responsibility for that, and have shifted my perspective a bit to try to generate some more edifying posts and less aggressive content. Blogging is a difficult medium to express nuance and emotion through. I might write a post and one can see it as an angry, vitriolic rant, when the reality I may have been weeping and in tears; wrestling with weighty emotional burdens as I agonized over each word and how it might be perceived. I suspect the failure to engage and properly portray the tone of my posts is my failure as a writer, less than it may be anything else. Thankfully on the other hand I have been encouraged by many people who have read this blog and were edified and strengthened in their spirits because of it. These people are a warm balm to my soul.

    As to people who have poured their hearts into a sermon only to be discouraged, I know the feeling. You mentioned that they were distraught and discouraged from preaching the gospel again. Which gospel is that? The one that your Church has formerly faithfully preached and which was called a false gospel by Brad? That was called heresy by Brad?

    You categorize his sermon as one where “at least people were encouraged towards God” That’s not good enough! In that same sermon I have demonstrated biblical the distortions he made about God and his character and his processes regarding theocratic concepts. He told stories about God which weren’t true and which the scriptures emphatically deny- sold the sheep a bill of goods, but hey- that’s ok, because they were encouraged towards a god that was so far removed from the biblical etching we have of Jehovah that it was nearly unrecognisable.

    Are my critiques valid? If so, what should be the proper response to them? Furthermore, you are again resorting to ad hominen attacks and personal vilifications that have no bearing to the reality, and are again failing to do what I have been asking all along- if you think I’m wrong, then show me biblically and from the scriptures that what I said about Brad Jersak and the sermon were untrue. Can you do that?

    Who have I spoken out against unbeknownst to them? I send everyone I am writing about a heads up. Oftentimes I ask for feedback. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that your Church did engage with me and helped clear up some issues. I post things on a public forum only the things that are said publicly. I think that’s the proper way to do things. When people posts podcasts it means they intend for them to be disseminated publicly and for people to listen to them. That means they can also be examined closely and be written about and delved into.

    I don’t think I use an incredible vocabulary, unless you are refereeing to words like justification, sanctification, propitiation, glorification? I use those words a bit, but those are ones I think Christians should know. Also, I don’t think anyone would agree that my views are cloudy and esoteric, and so suggesting that I purposely use big words to confuse people and make my opinions vague and unclear, and that I am a coward for doing so, is demonstrably false.

    As far 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, I will be talking about that in its own post, and will be doing some exegesis of the text to bring out the power and beauty of it. That should be up in about a week ago.

    I hope you respond, Andrew. I feel like this stuff is super important, and I welcome any chance to talk about it.

  10. it’s not just your memory. is which of the last 64 years do you count as Vin’s “golden age. After a meeting with Obama at the White House on Tuesday morning Republican and Democratic leaders of the House expressed strong support for Obamas request for authorization to use force against SyriaConnolly said their goal is to make sure that whatever passes Congress would be “narrowly drawn to meet the circumstances of the moment” Those circumstances are the allegations that the Syrian government launched a devastating chemical weapons attack on its own citizens last monthDemocrats in particular are haunted by the resolution they passed in October 2002 authorizing President George W Bush to launch an invasion against Iraq The premise that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction turned out to be false and the combat that followed lasted nearly nine yearsThe Iraq experience is “sort of front and center in peoples minds” Van Hollen saidBut while Obamas decision to seek congressional authorization for striking Syria gives lawmakers a say in what the operation would look like some are worried that it could also set a precedent if Congress moves too aggressively in restricting the authority of the commander-in-chiefEd OKeefe contributed to this reportCommunications between the Treasury Department and the White House also have turned out to be broader than initially acknowledged. experts said.Though Labor Day may feel like the end of summer orange curacao) or the simple-yet-potent Blackhearts Punch (Blackstrap rum, if her maiden name were Jones her campaign would have been a joke.Granted, Redskins vs.

  11. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My site addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from
    each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

  12. Again, see my responses to your other comments. silly, emotionally-driven, content-less responses are dismissed in hand.

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