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Author Topic: More of the same: This time from Summitview Community Church  (Read 10105 times)
puff of purple smoke
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« on: October 27, 2007, 01:23:32 pm »

Somebody notified GCMWarning about an article published recently by Summitview Community Church in Fort Collins. The article is titled "Thank You" by Brandon Pullen, a leader at the church, and seems to be harping on the familiar loyalty to church schpeel. My favorite quote from it: "We cite our right to have our own lives apart from the church and we neglect the mission of the army." Yes, how dare people have lives outside of church..


Quote

Thank You
by Brandon Pullen


I consider it an honor to be in the midst of this church. The knowledge, radical faith, and generous love of this church makes God big, and in the midst of it I feel small. Your love has helped change my life and I am thankful. We will be with God face to face someday and I will be proud to stand next to you. Being here at Summitview has taught me something that I want to pass back to you as encouragement. Here it is...

The church is more important than you. Or to put it more bluntly, you are not the church. You are not the bride of Christ. Only the church is the bride and the passion of Jesus’ heart; not the individual. Can you be a family alone? No. Yet many times we cite our right to be free moral agents and we rip apart the body of Christ. We cite our right to say whatever we want and in the process we take an ax to community. We cite our right to have our own lives apart from the church and we neglect the mission of the army. Do not tune out the upward call of God to give your life to something bigger.

My plea is this: I pray for your intense care, fierce loyalty, and crucified commitment to the church and its mission. It is also the joy of Paul, “If you have any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”

I don’t see myself as separate. To do whatever I want is not a valid option because I am part of the body and the whole body is affected by my action or inaction. If I have given myself as a resource for the kingdom then my actions are submitted to what is best for the kingdom and I am not the only judge and authority on the best for the kingdom.
There is only one purpose that will remain.

Unique Gifting

One of the greatest privileges of my life has been to be a part of summer projects together with students from CSU. In living, working and striving for God’s purposes together I have gotten to see gifts work together for the purposes of God in extraordinary ways. I have learned experientially what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12. “The eye cannot say to the hand I have no need of you,” or in Romans 12 “we are individually members one of another.”

God has chiseled a place out for you in the church so that you can perform good works which he has prepared in advance. This church needs you like a body needs a hand, a hip, or a blood vessel. Please give your personality, gifts, and all the ways in which God has made you to these people and our goals together.

Mission

On the other hand, the kingdom of God is advancing and God will have his way regardless of us. God does not force us into heaven and God will not force us into service. Yet, may the logic of these servants motivate us. "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
-- David Livingstone

"The will of God -- nothing less, nothing more, nothing else."
-- F. E. Marsh

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him."
-- C.T. Studd

"You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving."
-- Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

"We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it."
-- P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene

Summitview! Let’s do this. Let’s be intent on one purpose. Let’s follow God’s purposes together without retreating. Our leaders will lead and let’s commit to follow by His grace for His glory. If we fall to the ground and die we will produce many seeds, and on the day we all long for we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful.” My plea is this. I pray for your intense care, fierce loyalty, and crucified commitment to the church and its mission. Or in other words, let’s make disciples of Jesus Christ —together.
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namaste
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 02:46:29 pm »

WTF?!?!?!

Reading that, my perspective was that people should die to themselves in service of the Church (notice, big 'c' there).  That's reasonable.

What's disturbing, is the implication that people don't know what's best for themselves.  Who knows what's best?  Why, the Summitview leadership, of course.  :roll:

Oh, and I like that he prefaces that with the explanation that it's meant as encouragement.  I'm sorry, I didn't see anything encouraging in that letter, though Mr. Pullen apparently employs a different definition that Merriam Webster, which explains that encouragement is to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope.

To me, that sounded more like admonishment: to indicate duties or obligations to; to express warning or disapproval to.

Maybe he should get his terminology straight.

Geez, if someone sent me a letter like that (and claimed it was encouragement), I'm not sure that I'd handle it gracefully.
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Om, shanti.
boboso
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2007, 03:40:28 pm »

"our leaders will lead..."

where though? How do the people at Summitview know that their leaders are truly following the Holy Spirit and obedient to God?

This is the worst kind of bad encouragement because there are elements of truth in there. Yes, we should be committed to each other, yes, we should lay down our lives for each other -- daily. However, limiting this commitment to only the "leader" approved GCx church is just ridiculous. "I want to serve you brother, but it's too bad you don't have a commitment to GCM so I'll invest my time to the committed believers." What a load! Who are these "leaders" really serving?
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nateswinton
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2007, 04:24:12 pm »

"Thank You"...

The "thanks" ends with the first paragraph.  A more suitable title might be, "Brandon Pullen, on church culture preferences"

"The knowledge, radical faith, and generous love of this church makes God big, and in the midst of it I feel small."

Oh, excuse me, I thought God's inherent character made Him "big".

"The church is more important than you."

Could we maybe brainstorm on a more edifying way to phrase that?

"My plea is this: I pray for your intense care, fierce loyalty, and crucified commitment to the church and its mission."

Um...  I thought "core" issues to us should be things like Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness...  but I guess making the bride of Christ into an idol is cool and fun as well, though.  Question: is it ironic that these individualism constraints apply to individual people, but not congregations within the Body?  Because GC doesn't seem to need any Christians in the world outside of their sect...

This is written so horribly - like he couldn't decide what he really wanted to communicate, so he just gushed whatever was on his mind at the time onto the page.  The beginning and ending don't match at all.

This loyalty to the church and building of the kingdom thing is so familiar to me.  It's idolatry in so many ways, it's worshiping a vision and a goal - putting them over knowing Christ.  When you read this, does it sound like all of the Fruits of the Spirit are in it?  By their fruits you'll know them.

Not encouraging at all, in my opinion.
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einmal
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 04:25:56 pm »

Quote
This is written so horribly - like he couldn't decide what he really wanted to communicate, so he just gushed whatever was on his mind at the time onto the page. The beginning and ending don't match at all.


This assessment sums up a great deal of the sentiment I feel toward my time with Summitview.  I feel in its earlier days (when "The Rock" met at Fort Collins High School), the leadership exhibited a higher degree of clairvoyance.  Consequently the messages given were filled with power and purpose.  I feel that has dissolved quite a bit.  In my latter days at Summitview, I would sit there frustrated listening to a lot a words with little coherence, thought, or purpose.  Passionate gushing on this and that with little rationality or humility.

I feel this trend began shortly after Steve Bush's departure from Fort Collins to head up the Amsterdam church plant. Shortly after the leadership decided that "The Rock" would no longer be a "seeker service," but more of a "discipleship service" -- a huge loss in my opinion.
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lone gone
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2007, 09:33:41 am »

I read it and didn't have much of an emotional response.... my intellectual response was along the lines of " this sure is a lot of Mis-guided Zeal".

Gushing, exuberant, passionate opinions are not the same as the truth.Actions speak louder than words.

Anyone standing on the outside of Summitview would do well to look for the actions and accomplishments of the group and then determine if these match the rhetoric of the leaders.

Additionally, while waiting to see if the actions match the words, it would be best to follow God's way which is  "don't speak ill of another man's servant".
You don't really know the work that God is doing in those people's lives so let God complete it without your interference or you may actually find yourself opposing the will of God.
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theresearchpersona
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2007, 04:29:11 am »

we're told to be cautious yes...but not to be undiscerning and silent, but rather vigilant, to exhort, but also to expose and rebuke all error publicly: unqualified leadership is one of those things.

Oh, and I've met Brandon...very nice guy, very committed and loving (I think), so please pray for him: he's a young fellow too.
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