Letter: Elder forced to leave for standing against Spiritual Formation

by | May 23, 2013 | New Age | 3 comments

Would you take a stand against a dangerous practice in your church?
John from Ohio wrote to us a few days ago to share that he had to resign his longtime position as elder of his mainline Evangelical church because of the Spiritual Formation/Transformation movement that had not just crept into his church, but had infiltrated every aspect of ministries there, including the youth ministries. His story is heartbreaking and will cut to the quick of anyone who has ever tried to help his or her church understand why this movement is so unbiblical and dangerous. John has given us permission to share his story:

Dear Stand Up For The Truth,
I was a long-time elder in my church that was recently forced to resign under threat of being removed. Did I sin? No. What did I do?
• Wanted preaching that was faithful to the text and not someone’s agenda.
• Clear proclamation of the gospel from the pulpit.
• Rejection of Peter Drucker methods.
This was unacceptable and I had to go. People who discern and teach prophecy are viewed not as resources but problems to be silenced.
I believe that the remnant is identifying itself.
Attached is the letter I sent to (name deleted) Seminary and the elders in my church and the response from the seminary.
Once my letter circulated among the 35 or so elders in my church, I was summoned to meetings with the Executive Elders who eventually told me that I had to express public support for the lead pastor and his vision. Any concerns I had about the preaching were rejected. The substance of my concerns on spiritual formation were never addressed.
Now the history of my resignation is being re-written.
Thanks for “Standing Up”. It is much appreciated by the remnant. MUCH appreciated.

Here is the excellent letter that John sent to his elders. At his request I have removed the name of the church. But the links and the research he shared with them about Spiritual Formation are excellent. Perhaps readers will find these useful for sharing similar concerns with their church leadership:
October 8, 2012
You may recall that during board meetings in April 2011 I sent you an email about my concern that at least one discernment blog had included our Seminary on their list of the schools that teach or promote contemplative prayer and mysticism. At the time, (the pastor) responded that the spiritual formation being followed by us was similar to the spiritual formation programs being followed at Moody, Talbot/Biola, Dallas and Trinity. It was also explained to me that the term spiritual formation was tied to, or the same as, sanctification.
Since that exchange in April 2011, I have continued reading about spiritual formation, particularly the way it seems to be taught here and the materials used in that class. I have also reviewed the syllabus for our Spiritual Formation class as well as other materials related to Dr. X’s teaching in other settings.
In summary, not only has my reading and research not allayed the concerns I had in April 2011, what I have seen and read has actually heightened my concern about what is being taught here and the materials being used. I am also concerned about this because it is my understanding Dr. X will be coming to teach a class here during the current academic year.
I know that writing this may lead to an accusation that I am attempting to micro-manage the institution. As you know, I have been on the board for some time and have tried to be sensitive to this concern. However, one of the roles of a board member is to protect the institution from doctrinal and theological drift. It is probably the board member’s most important task.
In the late 1980s, our seminary dismissed Larry Crabb for precisely this reason. That event occurred just before I joined the board, and it indicates that we have not been immune to such drift. In fact, the issues surrounding Larry Crabb’s approach to scripture, and his heavily psychologized view of scripture and human nature, appear to have re-emerged. Two of Crabb’s books are required texts in our Spiritual Formation class; more on that below.
In addition to concerns about theological drift at our seminary, theological drift in the FGBC has been with us for some time. My recollection is that Dr. Vic Young documented it in a paper sent to FGBC pastors in 2006. By any objective measure, nothing has been done to address Dr. Young’s concerns.
The past two Moderators, actually one Moderator and now an Executive Director, are pastors of churches that are members of the Willow Creek Association, one of the organizations whose ministry philosophy Dr. Young addressed in light of scripture in his 2006 paper (sub-titled “Welcome to Laodicea” and presented at an Oxford roundtable). I have long shared his concerns.
It is now well documented come not from scripture, but from the marketing methods of Peter Drucker, a man who admitted in an interview a couple of years before his death that he was not a Christian.[1] In fact, Peter Drucker was a communitarian (some might use the term “fascist”) who saw churches in general, and megachurches such as Saddleback and Willow Creek in particular, as a method to create a better world through social control. Leadership Network, Saddleback and Willow Creek adopted Drucker’s methods and marketed them to numerous churches. Paul Smith documented how this occurred in his book New Evangelicalism: The New World Order. Smith notes:

Drucker was completely committed to the existential philosophy of Danish writer Søren Kierkegaard. The platform of Kierkegaard’s thinking was built solidly on the writings of German philosopher, Immanuel Kant. . . In Drucker’s quest for optimum community, he discovered that the most effective agent of change in American life is the megachurch.

New Evangelicalism The New World Order (Kindle Locations 93-95, 97-98). Without going into great detail, Drucker found pastors of evangelical megachurches more than willing to foster his secular view of a better world. These pastors and churches would serve as his change agents. Smith also documents Drucker’s devotion to a blend of Zen and German mysticism. Zen and German mysticism  Smith, Paul (2011-10-06). Id. (Kindle Locations 1709-1710).
In short, Drucker’s methods amounted to nothing more than an application of systems theory to church growth. As Dr. Smith notes: “Whatever happened to the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church?”   Id. (Kindle Locations 1743-1744). The gist of the spiritual formation movement seems to be nothing more than the application of a systems approach to personal development. Again, the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit seems secondary to the new techniques. In a recent series of blog posts, John MacArthur’s ministry Grace to You has raised questions about spiritual formation programs:
[M]any of the leading voices in the spiritual formation movement stress the need for more intuitive interpretations of spirituality. They encourage believers to incorporate a wide variety of extrabiblical spiritual practices, such as contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, creative expression, and yoga. In fact, some of the most popular methods of spiritual formation have been lifted from Catholicism, new age mysticism, or other religions and rebranded with biblical-sounding terminology.
What Is Spiritual Formation and Why Does It Matter? (Sept. 10, 2012); see also John MacArthur on Spiritual Formation and Biblical Sanctification (Sept. 12, 2012).
More recent examples of theological drift in the FGBC are not encouraging. A vote at the FGBC conference in August 2012 changed the bylaws from requiring that in order for a church to be a member of the FGBC it must “subscribe to” the FGBC Statement of Faith, to one requiring that a church must “live harmoniously under” the Statement of Faith. The side notes explaining that “live harmoniously under” is merely a clarification of the term “subscribe to” is not only not compelling, but it also seems to institutionalize the downward drift. I have heard rumors that proposed amendments to the Statement of Faith are circulating, but that is a discussion for another time.
I am aware of two FGBC churches that have used labyrinths in the church, one local here in Columbus that even defended the practice. Long Beach GBC installed one in their courtyard. The recent meltdown at Long Beach, including the ouster of solid Bible teachers and elders, indicate that the labyrinth was, at a minimum, indicative of the theological decline that occurred only one lead pastor removed from some of the most solid Bible teaching of the past several generations.
Emergent panentheist Doug Pagitt was invited to speak at FGBC national conference. While the invitation was later withdrawn, the fact that the FGBC leadership invited him in the first instance is deeply troubling. And, yes, I have to admit that Doug Pagitt did speak at our young adult retreat prior to the FGBC invitation, but that was over at least one strong objection. Pagitt’s continued theological slide is well documented.
One discernment blog summarized concerns about the direction of the FGBC back in 2008. Others have written about it and while I could go on with more examples, I do not think there is any question but that there is a problem. My concern is that we are heading down the same path.
While I have attempted to be brief in stating my concerns in this letter, what I have included here should not be considered a full, complete and exhaustive statement of my concerns. It has not been written quickly. I have written and re-written it over the course of many months. Ultimately, the spiritual formation issue does not appear to be a complicated one. It has serious implications for us should it continue. While I cannot say for certain, when I heard about the million-dollar plus accounting error, one of my first thoughts was that perhaps God was trying to get our attention.
In the interest of full disclosure, I also want you to be aware that I have copied Jim Custer and a few other board members on this email, mainly those who are pastors. Because it appears that Dr. X will be teaching elements of her spiritual formation class here in the next few months, I am considering sending this to the church’s College of Elders within the next day or two for their consideration.
Now I will turn to the issues presented by Dr. X’s spiritual formation class and the seminars she has been teaching. I also want it understood that I have no personal animus towards Dr. X or her motives. My concern is whether what is being taught and promoted through her spiritual formation class and soul care seminars lines up with our historical, theological commitment to the Word of God (“the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible”).
I first became aware of issues with regard to Dr. X through her involvement in WoG leadership summits. In 2009, my wife attended a leadership seminar in Columbus where Dr. X spoke. Following that conference, she and all other members of the women’s ministry committee expressed concerns about what Dr. X said at the conference. As you can appreciate, when my wife expressed those concerns, I felt it was necessary to find out more about what she was teaching.
In October 2010, WoG held a leadership summit in Canton, Ohio. The primary study guide used at this event was Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. The WoG seminar appears to have been modeled after a seminar by the same name that Zondervan sponsored in Pittsburgh in 2008 taught, in part, by Barton:
The NPC has developed a reputation for the introduction of all sorts of emergent, experiential and unbiblical practices into the evangelical church. If I recall correctly, one year the NPC featured yoga in addition to the obligatory labyrinth experience that has been a part of NPC since at least 2004.
Who is Ruth Haley Barton? She used to be on the staff at Willow Creek Community Church (her description is that she was a pastor) and now operates the Transforming Center. Her biography states:

Ruth holds a Doctor of Divinity from Northern Theological Seminary (Lombard, IL), along with a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College (IL) and Master’s studies at Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies. She received her training in spiritual direction through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation (Bethesda, MD) under the guidance of Tilden Edwards, Rosemary Dougherty and Gerald May. She’s also a student of family systems theory as it relates to congregational life (Lombard Mennonite Peace Center) and has studied the Enneagram with Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute.

One critic of Enneagram calls it a “Gnostic Path to Self.” Such a conclusion cannot be refuted. Enneagram is mystical, New Age, gnostic and unbiblical. If so, why is a proponent of Enneagram being relied on as a study guide for WoG seminars? Why is this proponent included as a recommended author in our Spiritual Formation class?
Should we be concerned about Barton? What would Barton have learned at the Shalem Institute? I suggest that you take a moment to peruse Shalem’s website. You will find an organization that describes its various programs (contemplative spirituality, spiritual direction) as follows:
Shalem Programs
Shalem provides a variety of programs to support contemplative living and leadership.
All of our programs:

  • Share a contemplative orientation—an open willingness to be present to God in the moment;
  • Offer resources for listening and responding authentically to God;
  • Encourage the personal spiritual practices to which individuals are called;
  • Provide various forms of ecumenical spiritual formation experiences.

A quick review of the Shalem website as I was writing this showed an “upcoming program” that had Shalem’s blessing and endorsement:
Eckhart Tolle is not even a Christian. He is the one who Oprah Winfrey promoted as a great spiritual guide, the same Oprah who declares herself to be a Christian. Clicking on the link on Shalem’s website to Tolle’s seminar (which, incidentally, took place a few days ago), you will see this description:
Experience the visionary author of The Power of Now and A New Earth in a face-to-face encounter “in the moment.” Join us for a rare opportunity to be drawn into the “spaciousness that words can only point to” by the conscious presence of Eckhart. “The most important part of us is totally unrecognized by the majority of people,” teaches Eckhart Tolle. Living in Presence will help you discover your essential nature, through Eckhart’s one-of-a-kind “pointers” about finding freedom from excessive thinking, aligning with whatever arises in the moment, the nature of consciousness, and more.
Why would Shalem promote such a thing? Clearly, historic Biblical doctrine and the Bible do not guide Shalem’s leadership. But, remember, Shalem is where Barton received her training in spiritual direction. I would submit that Barton’s training has little, if anything, do with historic Biblical Christianity.
I have seen copies of correspondence with people organizing WoG’s Fall 2011 leadership summit. While the people organizing and teaching the summit agreed to remove references to Barton from the website, they still indicated that Barton’s book would be used. This is a screenshot from an email sent on September 20, 2011 about the Fall 2011 leadership summit:
The WoG leadership summit was, fortunately it now seems, canceled due to a lack of registrations. However, the fact that Barton was even used, relied on or initially promoted at all should be an area of deep concern.
This email raises another area of concern, specifically Dr. X’s recommendation of Peter Scazzero’s book The Emotionally Healthy Church. It is also one of the required texts in the Spiritual Formation class. This book promotes what can only be charitably described as a heavily psychologized, contemplative mysticism. It bears no relationship to what is historic Biblical discipleship or practice. The mere recommendation of this book to anyone is deeply troubling. Scazzero’s Facebook page is replete with references to Catholic and so-called “evangelical” mystics and psychologists such as Jung. This is just a sample from the past week:
Richard Rohr is a panentheist who promotes the “Cosmic Christ”. Julian of Norwich is a Catholic mystic.
Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality website raises even more concerns about his theological orientation. Note the following graphic, Emotionally Healthy Spiritual Components:
Setting aside the tendency of mystics and system theorists to put things in quadrant charts or wheels, more troubling are the specific aspects of what is on this chart. For example, under “Contemplative Spirituality” reference is made to “The Examen,” a spiritual practice developed by Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, unrepentant persecutors and killers of Christians. Mars Hill Church in Grandville, Michigan (Rob Bell, Shane Hipps and Kent Dobson are recent pastors) promotes The Examen on its website. Did the Reformation mean nothing?
I suspect that while Scazzero uses what appears to be conventional evangelical terminology in other areas, he is using it in a much different way than we would understand it. It is deeply troubling that Dr. X recommended him as a resource to WoG. Scazzero’s book is also a required text for our seminary’s Spiritual Formation course. Attachment 2.
In addition to Scazzero’s book, the syllabus for this class requires the following texts:

  • Larry Crabb, Inside Out
  • Larry Crabb, The Pressure’s Off
  • Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Church
  • Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart
  • Miles J. Stanford, The Complete Green Letters

The syllabus for our Spiritual Formation class lays out the objectives of the course:
The syllabus also states:

  • “Instead of class time being used to transmit information, much of the course material will be covered in your required reading”
  • “These assignments will cause you to spend time alone with God and help you develop self-awareness and a listening spirit”
  • “One of the primary goals for your experiences in Spiritual Formation class has been becoming more aware of the truth of yourself”

Students are given a list of suggest authors from which to read and prepare a book report, including the following:

Catherine of Siena Julian of Norwich Thomas a Kempis St. John of the Cross Teresa of Avila Eugene Peterson
Brother Lawrence Brennan Manning Ruth Haley Barton Richard Foster Alan Jones Henri Nouwen

The book report constitutes 15% of the final grade and requires the student to do the following:

  • Section I: In 1-2 pages, describe the content of the book in your own words (i.e.—what were the major points the author(s) addressed?). This is a broad overview. Try to report the objective facts at this stage.
  • Section II: In the next 3 pages, interact with specific content that has challenged or shaped your understanding of spiritual formation and any areas of conviction/affirmation it brought to your personal growth. This section should be much more subjective, stating how the content impacted you and why. In closing, indicate how this book might be useful in ministry (to whom would you recommend the book?). . .
  • Presentation day: please provide a 1-page handout to distribute to your classmates. In 10 minutes, give a brief summary of the contents of the book, focus most of your time on sharing its impact on you and then wrap up with who would benefit from reading it.

The syllabus requires the student to come away from the reading of any one of these authors with something that convicted, challenged, impacted or affirmed the student in the area of spiritual formation or growth. By implication, the syllabus serves as an endorsement of each author on the list and that the methods advocated in the required texts will shape the student’s understanding for what spiritual formation is. There is no invitation for the student to bring out, discuss or share with others the rank false teaching that predominates in most of the required texts (I am not familiar with the Stanford book). Whether this is the intent or not, the syllabus clearly points students in only one direction with regard to these authors. Given the bad theology that comes from almost every author on the recommended list, the context of the syllabus is that the reviewing student can recommend book reviewed in a positive way to other students in the class. None of the recommended authors is critical of the Foster-Willard type of spiritual formation. This is a concern. I am fully cognizant that writings both good and bad need to be examined in the academic context, but our Spiritual Formation class creates a context in which the students are encouraged to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” with respect to materials of questionable theological content. The syllabus seems to direct the student to accept these teachings as true.
Another of the required texts is Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart. Willard is very popular in evangelical circles. Willard has long been associated with Richard Foster and together they developed Renovare’s The Life with God Bible Study Bible.
Most contemplative and mystics in evangelicalism eventually circle back to Foster and Willard. I recently came across two resources that take what Foster, Renovare and Willard teach and compare how their teachings compare to scripture. See Attachments 3-4. The conclusion is that they fail miserably. Drs. Tim and Connie Davis prepared this comparison because of concerns they had with what was being taught in an Evangelical Free church where Dr. Tim Davis was an elder. Attachment 3 compares what Foster and Willard have said to what the Bible says. Attachment 4 compares what Foster-Willard say to what is in the EV Free Statement of Faith. I highly recommend both attachments. They are extremely valuable resources.
Suffice it to say, an objective examination of what Foster and Willard teach does not stand up to the test of what the Bible teaches. I would highly recommend that you watch the interview that John Ortberg did with Dallas Willard at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in December 2009. While Willard’s leanings to a form of universalism are readily apparent in that interview, it is equally disturbing that Ortberg sat there and let it happen. One explanation might be Ortberg’s experience as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek.
By any objective measure, it should be a matter of grave concern that the teachings of Foster and Willard are so popular and accepted uncritically by evangelical pastors and leaders. Drs. Tim and Connie Davis should be praised for the many, many hours that they put into their project of comparing the teachings of Foster and Willard to scripture. Because people such as Peter Scazzero and Larry Crabb build on what Foster and Willard teach and write, I have no doubt that a comparison of what they teach would result in a similar conclusion.
Last of all, two of Larry Crabb’s books are required texts. Much has been written about Larry Crabb. Suffice it to say, he teaches and writes from such a heavily psychologized perspective that one can conclude he does not believe in the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit and scripture. We should all be aware of the problems with Larry Crabb. While I do not know if the board was involved in his dismissal, my recollection is that we were the subject of considerable criticism for allowing Crabb to teach another year. It appears that the decision to allow this was driven by the economics of allowing people to complete their degree programs rather than considerations of what he was teaching.
Crabb is, from all reports I have heard, highly relational. Because of that, I believe he seems to get a pass on his psychologized view of the Bible from the broad evangelical movement. For many years, I have observed in evangelicalism that highly relational pastors and leaders seem to get a pass on their teaching. I have heard it said many times that, yes, so-and-so is crossing the line theologically or doctrinally, but he is my friend.
Recently, I had a conversation with a pastor for whom I have a lot of respect. The subject of theological and doctrinal drift in the FGBC came up. I repeated my concern that relationship seemed to trump truth. He agreed. He observed that while we will state we are concerned about post-modernism’s affect on church and culture and the concept of truth, we have become so relational that we have become functionally post-modern. I thought the observation was spot on and brilliant.
When it was explained to me in April 2011 that our spiritual formation program was similar to the ones at Talbot, Dallas and Moody, I looked into Dallas’ spiritual formation program. I do not recall at the moment whether I read or watched a video where the stated purpose of this was to avoid the moral failures that seem to be occurring too often among graduates of evangelical seminaries. We can all agree that we do not want moral failure to be an outcome for graduates of the College and Seminary.
I am aware that our accrediting agency requires a class in spiritual formation. I also note that the standards state:
Because the purpose of the MDiv is to prepare individuals for ministry, each theological school is expected to ground its program in the theology and ministerial contexts of the faith communities that its graduates will serve.
Handbook of Accreditation, Section Eight, A Guide for Evaluating Theological Learning. I would question whether the spiritual formation class is grounded in the theology of the FGBC. It does not have an historical basis and, in light of the dismissal of Larry Crabb in the 1980s, how is it consistent with what the accrediting agency requires?
While one can lament the moral failures of seminary graduates, is the solution layering psychology and mysticism on top of scripture in their education? It seems these programs do not believe scripture is sufficient and, therefore, manmade methods must be used to achieve the desired result. That is what Larry Crabb believes at least in practice. In short, the belief that we have to come up with some system in order to assist the the Holy Spirit to work in an individual’s life.
Given that Crabb’s books continue to be used in the Seminary and College, it appears that he still exerts enormous influence on our faculty and students. Larry Crabb never really left. How does this square with the institution’s historical decision in the late 1980s to terminate him?
Who influences Larry Crabb? According to this article, one influence is Brennan Manning: “Brennan Manning, Catholic retreat director and author of The Wisdom of Tenderness, who has been giving Crabb occasional spiritual direction for the last 14 years.”
What does Brennan Manning teach and how does it line up with scripture? Again, I would refer you to additional work of Drs. Tim and Connie Davis. Attachment 5. Again, Manning’s teachings fail the test of scripture. To quote Manning:

I am deeply distressed by what I can only call in our Christian culture the idolatry of the Scriptures. For many Christians, the Bible is not a pointer to God but God himself. In a word—bibliolatry. God cannot be conned to a leather-bound book. I develop a nasty rash around people who speak as if mere scrutiny of its pages will reveal precisely how God thinks and precisely what God wants. The four Gospels are the key to knowing Jesus. But conversely, Jesus is the key to knowing the meaning of the gospel and of the Bible as a whole. Instead of remaining content with the bare letter, we should pass on to the more profound mysteries that are available only through intimate and heartfelt knowledge of Jesus.

(The Signature of Jesus, Manning, 1996, pp. 174-175).
Contemplative prayer is simply experiencing what we already possess. . . During a conference on contemplative prayer, the question was put to Thomas Merton, “How can we best help people to attain union with God? His answer was very clear: We must tell them that they are already united with God. Contemplative prayer is nothing other than `coming into consciousness’ of what is already there.” (The Signature of Jesus, Manning, 1996, p. 197)
Manning is a recommended author in the Spiritual Formation syllabus.
Richard Foster influences Crabb. Crabb is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (“AACC”) and speaks at AACC conferences. In AACC’s published ethical standards it states:
Although rooted primarily in an orthodox evangelical biblical theology, this Code is also influenced (according to the paradigm offered by Richard Foster) by the social justice, charismatic-pentecostal, pietistic-holiness, liturgical, and contemplative traditions of Christian theology and church history.
In August 2012, Dr. X and other faculty conducted a Soul Care in Leadership seminar at XYZ Church.   Many of the same books required in our Spiritual Formation class are recommended for “future growth”. In addition, Kent and Karla Denlinger spoke at the seminar and tout the fact that they serve as “spiritual directors” at Crabb’s School of Spiritual Direction 2-3 times per year. Dr. X also includes a book by Dan Allender on the list. Allender has been identified as sympathetic to or supportive of the emergent stream in the evangelical church. While I do not know the reasons why he departed our seminary, Allender’s mentoring of John Eldredge is troubling. Eldredge seems to be enamored with Catholic mystics. Dr. X’s slides seem to indicate a heavy reliance on Allender.
Again, I don’t want this to be about Dr. X but rather about what is taught. I know she is well liked and respected in many parts of the FGBC. However, the source materials she uses and recommends for spiritual formation raise concerns, and I question how these recommendations square with our theological position. It is very important how we approach and instruct students entrusted to our care in the context of the school’s stated and historical purpose and theological positions. Did we learn from the Larry Crabb experience? The experience with Larry Crabb was, and should have continued to be, a defining moment. In looking at what is now taught in the Seminary (and, it appears, in the college as well), one could conclude that Larry Crabb never left. We should not discount that the theological drift during his tenure at the school was tied to the severe financial distress that followed his time here.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I think it is a moment for us to look at where we are and where we are going. Are we going to be committed to the historical reasons we were formed or are we going to continue on what seems to be an increasingly different path?
The eschatological framework to which I subscribe views the Laodicean church as what will be characteristic of the church just before the Lord returns. The example of Laodicea should be in our minds as we, I hope, discuss these issues. Laodicea received the strongest condemnation from the Lord of all of the seven churches of Revelation. Laodicea’s main problem was that it didn’t realize it was Laodicea.
There can no longer be any question but that the evangelical church, of which we are a part, is Laodicean. Statements such as “chew the meat and spit out the bones” and “look for the good and ignore the bad in that book” should be categorically rejected and condemned as Laodicean.
Thus, I would suggest that we not look at this issue as a debate on whether we are becoming Laodicea or whether we are Laodicea. The issue should be a focus on the solution, stated by Jesus:
21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 3 (NASB)

At the conclusion of his letter to the messy church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul concluded:

13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.1 Corinthians 16 (NASB)

What is the step forward? I would suggest that it begins with public repentance and a commitment to return to our foundation in the Word of God. I think this is another defining moment for us just as it was in the 1980s with regard to Larry Crabb.
Please feel free to write or call to discuss.

[1] Excerpts from six 30 minute VHS Tapes; Tapes 23-28: Peter F. Drucker Biography« 5th of December 2001, in »Drucker Archives« at http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/col/dac.

  • Rick Warren: 2:05:22
  • How did you get interested in the Megachurches: 2:15:46
  • Drucker: “I am not a Christian”: 2:16:00


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