But I'm not particularly.
I spent far too many years working and consulting in the mega-church world not to have continually stumbled across the dead and dying faith of former followers – victims of the vision of the leader.
" Hey staff, here's an important saying you need to memorize,
'Any vision that's not my vision is di-vision'.
Division! – Get it! "
As the number of butts in seats increased, these mono-vision leaders felt as if they had the God Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
"If God wasn't happy with me, He'd tell me."
It doesn't help to remind them that God had to use an ass to get through to Balaam. One would think a pyjama-clad blogger or two wouldn't be out of His reach.
"Balaam wasn't a minister of the Gospel. That passage could never apply to me. Although any blogger who dares criticize me is definitely an ass. And probably not a Christian one."
I referenced a young 'successful' preacher in my recent post, What We Win Them With Is What We Win Them To;
A case in point, this painful video at Out of Ur. I have no doubt this young man basically has good motives. But he's not interested in hearing any critique. Entertainment is good because it gets butts in seats – "cuz, it's all about the numbers, baby!" And this young man's church has the numbers to show – so the rest of us just need to shut our festering gobs.
But, in line with Whitmarsh, do those numbers reflect the raising up of people who are disciples of Christ – whose lives exhibit "sacrifice, service, humility, forgiveness, love, grace and mercy."
This stomache-turning story of humiliation, fear and just plain evil would suggest otherwise.
It's the story of Dr. James Duncan, critiquing the ministry of Perry Noble (in a strong, somewhat obsessive, but reasoned manner) and finding his world turned upside down with threats of violence, actual identity theft, harassment, stalking and much more – this viciousness from a fulltime security person at Newspring and a number of Newspring volunteers – with the apparent approval of other Newspring staff (if one follows the Twitter trail according to Dr. Duncan). Noble claims not to have known.
Is it any wonder that a 'pastor' whose Twitter bio is "Wanna Be Ultimate Fighter!" – who spends an inordinate amount of time talking about 'ignoring bloggers and critics' in videos he has posted on YouTube (where in one he talks about God stopping him from smacking a woman in a restaurant he thinks has dissed him) – assuring his loyal listeners of how much smarter he is than the rest of us while he confuses missional with attractional then goes on to insult emerging – is it any wonder he would raise up combative, arrogant followers.
That those followers engaged in what might appear to be crimes worthy of a RICO investigation suggests the minimum response of the "leadership" at Newspring would be to meet with Dr. Duncan and profoundly apologize – seeking forgiveness. Instead they post weasel words in their statement that suggests Dr. Duncan is to blame and was simply after a big payout from Newspring.
I should be shocked. And you, Mr. Noble, should be ashamed.
UPDATE: Please read the good folk at Phoenix Preacher in Michael's Not Very Noble post and the comments that follow.
Previous kinnon.tv posts that have mentioned Perry Noble:
Church of the Little Rascals (2006)
Perry Noble and Out of Ur (2006)
Perry's All Fired Up (2007)
How to Rebuild a Bent Toadley and Other Church Ministries (2009)
The De-Churched or Not EVEN Virtual Part II (2009)
What is What?(2009)