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Author Topic: Downtown Church in Des Moines  (Read 42649 times)
lone gone
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« on: November 29, 2008, 07:04:24 am »

a link to a news article in the Des Moines Register about the Wlanut Creek offshoot church in downtown Des Moines,Ia.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20081129/NEWS/811290320/1001/NEWS

The Des Moines Register is the same paper that investigated cultic allegations at the pre-GC church in Ames,Ia led by Jim McCotter back in the 70's.

I know Tim Rude and Walnut Breek has been pilloried here and elsewhere.
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Linda
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 01:37:50 pm »

Judging from his comment after the article, Dr. Sam doesn't have a problem with a church that is all about "capturing recent high school graduates through 35-year-olds". As a parent of high school graduates through 35 year olds, I am greatly concerned.

Terry made an interesting observation this morning. We were recalling numerous testimonies during our years in a GC church. Many went something like this, "My life was a mess. Then God led me to ECC."

On the surface, that sounds fine, but really it is a twisting of what is right. The real measure of a church that is doing the right thing uses the same words, but in a different order. The church should be pointing people to God, not the other way around.

In fact, I now "judge" sermons by that criteria. When the sermon is all said and done, did the pastor point me to God and his all sufficiency, or did the pastor point me to the local congregation and how great they are and how I should be committed locally for the rest of my life.

Thanks for posting the link.
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DrSam
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2008, 04:43:22 pm »

Quote from: "Linda"
Judging from his comment after the article, Dr. Sam doesn't have a problem with a church that is all about "capturing recent high school graduates through 35-year-olds". As a parent of high school graduates through 35 year olds, I am greatly concerned.


Linda, what's wrong? I get the feeling that if I could dance for you or not dance for you, you would not be happy. Lighten up.

As for Rev. Tim Rude... I was his pastor one time and I think I can say that Tim is a good person who loves Jesus just like you want to love Him also. You will never find any perfect group. I'm sure you know that well. The disciples of Jesus were full of their own dysfunctions even after Jesus left.

I take Paul's stance. I may not agree with everything but I rejoice that the Good News is getting out and Christ in some way or another is being shared.

I rejoice especially when it is a known fact that Evangelical churches are dying. Older persons are leaving the church through the front door and younger folks are leaving it through the back door. If we are not careful we will not have many to take the mantle in the next generation. By whatever means you may recommend or implement there needs to be a concerted effort to appeal to the younger generation. If you have a better way then jump in. The work is large and can use more ideas and more workers.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2008, 06:10:53 pm »

Sam, if they're pointing to themselves...no good. If, however, rather than strategizing and relying on various organizers and idea men to maintain everything, they preach God's word untwisted and Christ's sufficiency, repentance and faith in Christ, and of course we musn't forget "be holy" (and ensuring they understand it's not for salvation, but it's our joy, Romans 12) and they stay for that, to be fed, equipped to serve by that word (not secular principles clothed in evangelingo), then fine.
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Linda
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2008, 08:57:28 pm »

Sam, the thing I found most interesting about your comment was that you knew about the postings here and the concerns many of us parents have about our parental roles being usurped by sincere, but misguided pastors, and in your comment you chose to offer "kudos" to the group. That is your right, of course, I just found it noteworthy.

I am a Christian parent who sees GC in a different light, due to many experiences my children had there and some pretty direct attempts by leadership to come between us and our children (NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS SENDING OUR CHILDREN A COPY OF A LETTER REBUKING US.) While, I have no doubt that most of the leaders love the Lord, I believe some significant aspects of their teaching is flawed and since they teach each other, the flaws are perpetuated.

I just ask you to consider that some of us think that putting young adults in a church led by a 24 year old GCLI taught guy (and I'm sure he's a great guy) is not a good thing.
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Linda
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 10:11:39 pm »

About the Philippians verses you mentioned, your old friend Larry Pile addressed them in a post many months ago. I found his answer quite insightful. Here's what he wrote:
Quote
In regard to Phil. 1:15-17–

If the issue (s) was/were merely that of GC* pastors, teachers and others preaching Christ “out of envy and strife” I wouldn’t mind so much. But I know of no ex-leaders or ex-members who make that charge. I for one have always believed and said that so far as I can tell the founders (including McCotter) and other leaders are all sincere. And I DO rejoice that Christ is being and has been preached — often with great clarity and success.

What I criticize is the damage that has often been inflicted on new converts (and “old” ones too) by authortaritarian leadership/discipleship, of which this blog is prime evidence.

I also object to the past (?) climate in GC* that led leaders and others to play fast and loose with the truth on many occasions.

Notice also that, though Paul didn’t name any names in Phil. 1, he did point out the problem in a negative way.
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trthskr
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2008, 02:57:35 am »

really...he's not so great.  Too many of my friends refuse to go to church because he's told them they're going to hell.  not cool.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2008, 07:58:14 am »

In what context did he say this?
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trthskr
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 11:16:20 am »

To be completely honest, I can't tell you what the exact words were because I wasn't there.  I know that he was "sharing" with one of my friends when it happened.  There have been quite a few CRAZY ideas and theology spread to my classmates that I'm just finding out about now.  It's really very sad.

Oh - and I know that in sharing the gospel with people, they do take away the message that Christians believe in only one way to heaven, so that if they don't accept Christ, then Christians believe they will go to hell.  I just think that there needs to be a bit more tact and care in the way that it is shared with non-Christians.  Also - no one - I don't care who you are - can judge a person's heart and know if they are a Christian or not - so there's no reason to tell someone they are going to hell.  It is completely unacceptable.  If a person accepts the Lord on account of this, it is just fire insurance and I think they'd be missing the point.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 12:18:11 pm »

Um...you'd be speaking even against the apostles then; part of the offense of the gospel is, yes, if you don't believe in Christ, you will burn: separated from God in a "flaming fire" (NIV likes to "nice" it up with "everlasting destruction").

Now with "tact", I would say there's a place for it: I remember a gal angry over some preacher calling her friend a "dike": this is a guy who also claimed to have no sin, however (which the word warns us is a spirit of antichrist, so no need to listen to him...run along). Yet even Paul on Mars Hill, which commentators have said is a discourse that is "studiously courteous" does something interesting: while he was so, he also rips their entire world view to shreds, even co-opting old (outmoded) greek poets to do it, piece by piece (this is the same scene quoted by people saying we need to build bridges, be relevant, and bring people into the Church vs. the other way around: it's the reason Mark Driscoll's is named "Mars Hill" and other emergents quack around imitating the world (though some are truly worldly) as if being alike, rather than separate and adorned with Christ, is what counts).

If someone point-blank said "if I don't believe then will I go to hell" there's one straightforward, honest, answer (and you'd be surprised how many people actually appreciate it when one does not beat around the bush), "yes": Christ and His apostles all said thusly; they all told their audiences of their need of Christ, but salvation not "from hell", but from sin and death, from the wrath of God (which hell is, but we needn't forget God the judge will gladly dole-out justice, the Bible using vivid language like he will "laugh" at their calamity and give them no relief). The word says to preach to them "flee the wrath to come"; the Christian doesn't try to veil these things in pleasantries, they are urgent.

And now that I've said that, I've just preached to myself...thanks for that opportunity. With love and all, and I'm glad your concerned, however, with being appropriate!
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Devon
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2011, 10:33:05 pm »

I am not sure what to think about this forum. Some of the ideas here are new to me. I have been going for a while now to the Downtown Church. Should I be concerned? Maybe a better question is why are you all concerned? It sounds like a lot of things said here are slanderous because I haven't heard anyone defend or give the other side of the story. Who can I talk to to get both sides?
One post said many bad things about marriage. I haven't seen them. I think the way it is done is unique, but what is wrong with that?
Not trying to be mean, but a lot of things on this caught me off guard.
This is what is taught on marriage. What is wrong with this?

http://vimeo.com/22521860
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Linda
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 10:57:52 pm »

If you spend some time reading the forum, you will understand why we are concerned.

Also, slander is when someone makes a false statement about someone that defames his/her character. What statements do you believe are false? Disagreeing with someone theologically or politically is not slander.

Without any evidence or explanation, you have suggested that people posting here are slanderers. I believe that publicly suggesting that someone is a liar (which is what a slanderer is) could actually be considered slander. (I think technically it would be libel since it was written.) So, be careful when you make public accusations.

Please understand that if I say, "So and so" is wrong in their teaching because the Bible says "such and such," I have not slandered anyone. It is not slander/libel to critique public teaching. Same goes for other public figures. If I don't like a decision made by the President or my local representative, I don't have to call them up and take it up with them, I can make my opinion known. That is not slander. Somewhere along the road, GC started labeling people as "slanderers" who believed that some of the teaching was in error.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 06:54:23 am by Linda » Logged

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Huldah
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2011, 01:22:25 pm »

It sounds like a lot of things said here are slanderous because I haven't heard anyone defend or give the other side of the story.
Could you give a specific example or two of something you consider slander on this forum?

Please bear in mind, as Linda pointed out, that telling the truth is not slander. In fact, believers are commanded to evaluate whether our teachers are staying within the light of Biblical truth. If they are not, we are to reject their authority and expose them as false teachers. Scripture is very clear on this point. God holds each of us responsible for the leaders we choose to follow.

As far as defending them, or telling the other side of the story, I'm puzzled why that would be necessary on this forum. GC already presents its own side of the story through multiple outlets: churches, websites, YouTube videos. That stuff's out there for anyone who wants to know what GC has to say for itself. What's harder to find is a critique of some of the serious problems in GC. That's why this forum is here. We are the other side of the story.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 03:34:21 pm by Huldah » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2011, 07:02:13 am »

Quote from: Dan Rude
…the point of marriage is not to get along, is not to have fun, is not to have good experiences, really the point of marriage isn't to have children, or anything like that, but really the goal of a marriage from Genesis chapter 2 is that there be two distinctly different people, distinct personalities, distinct lives,  that these two people would come together in marriage and would become one, they would become one physically, they'd become one emotionally, they'd become one spiritually…How do we have a marriage that really honors God? You must establish a common vision for your marriage. I don't know how often you talk about the point of your marriage, or what you are doing as a couple, what is the cause that you are giving your lives to.

And I believe one of the best things you could do for your marriage is that you get together and you make a decision as to what you're going to give your life to. What cause are you going to give your life to? What is it that you're going to be united for. What is the purpose of your marriage? And as you come to that conclusion "This is what we're gonna give our life to", then prioritizing your life will become much, much, much easier. And as you have that common vision, then you can properly set your expectations for your life, for your marriage.

And I remember talking with Meg, really early on, and I said, "You know, Meg, "If we're gonna be together, one thing that I'm really hoping for is that you won't just be at home with the kids, and your husband is spiritual and he goes out and he tries to love God and he shares truth with people and then, you know, my wife is just at home with the kids, or something like that, and that's all she does. But instead, I remember telling Meg, "Meg, if we're going to be together, I want you to be on the front line with me. I want you to be laboring with me.

Devon,
I'm not sure why you wanted us to listen to this, but I had a bit of time, so listened to the first 10 minutes. First of all, I disagree with him on the purpose of marriage. He wasn't very clear about how he Biblically came up with the idea that the purpose of marriage is to give your life to a cause. It sounds like something you would read in a Maxwell leadership book.

The Bible says that it is not good for man to be alone, so certainly one of the God given reasons for marriage is companionship. He also says the purpose of marriage is not to have children, I might agree with him there since he used the word  "purpose", but to have children is certainly one Biblical reason to get married. He thus far (and I haven't finished the message or listened to the others in the series) has said nothing about the imagery of marriage as being a picture of Christ and the Church. Honestly, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer Marriage Service has a better take on marriage than this message does, thus far.

I think that a subtle error that sounds good in this talk is the idea of giving yourself to a "cause". GC has been using this word "cause" for years. Causes can be good. But a Christian is to give him/herself first to God. A "cause" can become an idol. If you give yourself to Christ, he will direct your steps. Sometimes the "causes" Christ gives you vary over the course of your life.

A sick child or parent, can change your "cause" for the moment or your lifetime. Financial difficulties can change your "cause" for the moment. If a person decides early on in marriage that their "cause" is the church (I'm assuming he's going there), you might miss some pretty big things God wants you to be doing right now. Your "cause" can become a distraction from what God really would have you do. The devil is tricky.

And, I can't pass over the line, "You know, Meg, "If we're gonna be together, one thing that I'm really hoping for is that you won't just be at home with the kids, and your husband is spiritual and he goes out and he tries to love God and he shares truth with people and then, you know, my wife is just at home with the kids, or something like that, and that's all she does." Whoa. Where to begin?

Just at home with the kids? Whether you have one or ten, anyone who uses the phrase "just at home with the kids" needs to rethink priorities. To all the moms reading this who are "just at home with the kids" in a culture where people think that just being home with the kids is for lazy people who don't want to work, God bless you. You are my heroes. You have to persevere in spite of people who have no idea who say ridiculous things like that and suggest that if you really wanted to do something important with your life, you should be doing church work. Someone needs to tell this man that if he has kids, his kids ARE the front line.

Also, to you men who God has led down a career path, my hat's off to you. You have to persevere through talks like this where people suggest you have to be in full time Christian service for your life to have meaning. Or, worse yet, you have to work your full time paid job, and then you have to work nearly full time volunteering at your local church.

I'm with the Apostle Paul. If you really want to give your life to a "cause", don't get married.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 05:35:56 am by Linda » Logged

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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2011, 01:05:06 pm »

Right on, Linda!
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2011, 06:25:03 pm »

and the Apostle Paul was a tentmaker...He worked and found time to write half the NT.

I couldn't make it past the first "proof texted" Bible verse out of Amos 3:3.  How a prophecy related to Israel can end up in a marriage talk is beyond me...
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LucyB
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2011, 07:49:59 pm »

Sermons like this one made little sense to me, even when I was in GC. I really enjoyed my small group and found encouragement there, so that I was able to ignore the teaching that I could not accept.

There are several problems with Dan's teaching on marriage.

1. He focuses on what he and Meg are going to do for God, rather than worshiping God for what God has already done for them. There is nothing wrong with service per se, but the focus needs to be on growing in love for God and others. At the very end, he describes ministry as a "grind." Ministry is a gift. If you are being used by God, you will receive more than you ever give. You are a conduit of his work.

2. He asks his wife if she has had any time with the Lord. If she has not, he spends time with the kids so that she can have time with the Lord. This seems cold to me on several levels.
a. Why doesn't he just ask her how her day went? Why can't he care about her as a person, as a husband, as a friend?
b. I understand that occasionally people want to spend time alone, but as a Christian, isn't your entire life with the Lord? The concept that your life is compartmentalized is not very Biblical--it is, as Dan says, "What the world tells you." Practice the presence of God. Have Christian music on during the day. Pray and praise God with the kids. Talk to God through the day. Why assume that if she has not been alone with God, that her day was lived apart from God and that she is in need of renewal?
c. It is patronizing.

3. This is my personal issue. The scripture from Malachi 2:16 is often taken out of context. Scripture needs to be interpreted in the light of cultural context. In that day, women were financially dependent. Men could divorce them for almost any reason and leave them destitute. It was cruel and heartless. God hated it because it was unjust. Women could not file for divorce.

Dan says, "Just don’t do it. I would just encourage you… don’t talk about it. In your conversations, if you get mad, don’t EVER say, “Maybe I want a divorce. This isn’t working out. Let’s separate.”   Don’t EVER do that—EVER!! If you have done that, apologize."

I was in an abusive marriage. This is terrible advice. I heard a lot of this kind of talk from the pulpit in GC. It is not helpful at all. When people are hurting, they need to know that God will guide and protect them. The last thing they need is scripture taken completely out of context to add guilt to their confusion. 

"Sometimes...a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: 'You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.' If that happens to us, we experience grace." --Paul Tillich
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 08:24:53 pm by LucyB » Logged
nelliepooh
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2011, 08:48:20 pm »

What bother me is that one, he said marriage is a blessing given to us from God.  My problem with that is that it sounds like what he is saying is that being single won't be a blessing and I think that is wrong.  I think any talk on marriage should include a statement about its ok to never choose to be married (not the living in sin way).  Maybe the speach was only for people who want to be married, but why have it as a sermon?  I never heard so many pointless talks from the pulpit in my home church as with this group.  My home church we read and studied the bible and had some sermons on the bible, not just small hot topics that are explained using scripture out of context to make the sermons.  It should definately be the other way around where maybe we are studying a portion of scripture that relates specifically to marriage and we look to other books in the bible to learn what it means if need be. Just my 2 cents.
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Linda
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2011, 05:45:42 am »

Quote from: DR
If we're gonna be together, one thing that I'm really hoping for is that you won't just be at home with the kids, and your husband is spiritual and he goes out and he tries to love God and he shares truth with people and then, you know, my wife is just at home with the kids, or something like that, and that's all she does.
Another strange point that jumped out. Is he saying that being "spiritual" is something you go out to do? Perhaps the guy is young, but someone needs to point out to the man that you can be "spiritual", "love God", and "share truth" while at home with the kids. In fact, being spiritual, loving God, and sharing truth are much harder to do at home, but it seems to me that home is the place where those things should begin.

Also, he seems to imply that being spiritual is somehow a separate part of your life--something you go out to do? As if the little woman can't be spiritual unless she gets away from her kids and does something "important".
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 01:50:15 pm by Linda » Logged

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LucyB
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2011, 06:01:12 am »

Also, inviting people over to your house so that you can minister to them is lame. Invite them over because you like them and would enjoy their company.
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