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Disgraced Ex-Preacher Says There’s a Major Culture Problem in Evangelical Christianity
The Blaze ^ | Dec. 16, 2013 | Billy Hallowell

Posted on 01/15/2014 5:30:34 PM PST by Gamecock

Ted Haggard, a preacher who stepped down in 2006 from his position as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., following a sex and drug scandal, recently spoke out about Isaac Hunter’s suicide, an event that took the evangelical world by storm last week.

Focusing specifically on the scandals and charges of wrongdoing that have surrounded many famed preachers — himself included — Haggard said that evangelical Christians sometimes fail to properly apply the gospel when dealing with faith leaders who fall from grace.

Hunter, the former pastor of Summit Church in Orlando, Fla., had been facing personal issues since stepping down from his position late last year. His death, following the suicide of Pastor Rick Warren’s son, Matthew, earlier this year, has brought additional attention to mental health in evangelical circles.

“The news about Pastor Isaac Hunter breaks my heart. Great speaker, lover of God, and my guess is he loved the church. But he, like all of us, fell short,” Haggard wrote. “In the midst of divorce with accusations swirling, he resigned from the church he founded. He gave it his best shot, and his heart was broken.”

He continued, “This makes me sick to my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sick that he fell short, that’s a given for everyone except Christ Himself, I’m sick that our message did not do what we all hoped – it did not fix the problem.”

Haggard said that, in the past, evangelical leaders who have been immersed in scandal were often seen as not true believers, however he said this simply isn’t the case. In fact, he argued that most people who are in ministry “are sincere followers of Christ.”

While many Christians assume that a conversion to the faith heals all past problems, Haggard said this wasn’t the case in his own experience. While he said that becoming a believer made him “a new creation spiritually,” Haggard noted that there was some “simple care” that would have helped him avoid the scandal and pain he caused his family.

“I was so ashamed in 2006 when my scandal broke. The therapeutic team that dug in on me insisted that I did not have a spiritual problem or a problem with cognitive ability, and that I tested in normal ranges on all of my mental health tests (MMPI, etc.).” he wrote. “Instead, I had a physiological problem rooted in a childhood trauma, and as a result, needed trauma resolution therapy. I had been traumatized when I was 7 years old, but when Bill Bright led me to the Lord when I was 16, I learned that I had become a new creature, a new person, and that I did not need to be concerned about anything in my past, that it was all covered by the blood.”

But Haggard said that his past was still impacting his life.

In the end, the former megapastor claimed that his Christian training was delivered by people who didn’t respect the mental health and neural science professions. This translated, he wrote, into a counterproductive situation, as he was taught to view all issues as being entirely spiritual in nature.

“If I prayed and fasted, I was more tempted. If I just worked in ministry, I experienced relief and was not tempted,” Haggard continued. “I thought it was spiritual warfare. It was not. My struggle was easily explained by a competent therapeutic team.”

Haggard said that he believes wholeheartedly in the Bible, but that Christianity has “abandoned the application of the gospel” and that, as a result, too much time is spent on image management and damage control.

“Every one of us have had sin horribly intrude in our lives after being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and God is faithfully healing us or has healed us,” he continued. “Why don’t we tell that? He has never left us or forsaken us when we’ve said and done the wrong thing. Why don’t we tell that?”


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: haggard; homosexualagenda; pastors; sin
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1 posted on 01/15/2014 5:30:34 PM PST by Gamecock
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To: Gamecock
following a sex and drug scandal

Let me fix that: following a homosexual prostitute and drug scandal

2 posted on 01/15/2014 5:31:23 PM PST by Gamecock (Celebrating 20,000 posts of dubious quality.)
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To: markomalley; DocRock; del4hope; Alex Murphy; Gamecock; Dr. Eckleburg; jude24; Ottofire; fishtank; ..
YBPDLN* Ping List Ping!

The YBPDLN Ping List is generally published infrequently but based on the exploits of the megachurch pastors posts can spike for a season. If you would like on or off of this list please FReepmail me.

Because 18,000 People Can’t be wrong!

*YBPDLN=Your Best Purpose Driven Life Now

3 posted on 01/15/2014 5:32:58 PM PST by Gamecock (Celebrating 20,000 posts of dubious quality.)
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To: All

Just a few months before Haggard’s fall I heard an interview given by him where he insisted that he led a sin free life and that he resists all sin.

As a Reformed guy I was troubled by that statement because we hold to the belief that we are still sinners, and will remain such until death.

What I sense here is a bit of arrogance instead of repentance.


4 posted on 01/15/2014 5:35:44 PM PST by Gamecock (Celebrating 20,000 posts of dubious quality.)
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To: Gamecock

What I sense here is a bit of arrogance instead of repentance.


I would concur, it wasn’t his fault. He still is not humbled and broken.


5 posted on 01/15/2014 5:50:34 PM PST by PeterPrinciple
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To: Gamecock
As a Reformed guy I was troubled by that statement because we hold to the belief that we are still sinners, and will remain such until death.

What I sense here is a bit of arrogance instead of repentance.

As a Catholic guy, I would, on the surface of it, agree with your assessment.

Whether or not you agree with the effectuality of the Sacrament of Penance, I would certainly hope that anybody would see the value of a periodic examination of conscience. Properly done, it shows us the great grace that God continues to extend to each of us.

6 posted on 01/15/2014 5:50:54 PM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: Gamecock
Haggard said that evangelical Christians sometimes fail to properly apply the gospel when dealing with faith leaders who fall from grace.

Funny, I thought the problem was that evangelical faith leaders fail to properly preach the Gospel.

7 posted on 01/15/2014 5:59:09 PM PST by Thane_Banquo ( Walker 2016)
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To: markomalley

I would suggest Mark that for most of us there is a continual self assessment process going on in light of the gospel - where we fall short, where we can improve, why we do the things we do. I do think though that a conscious, intentioned self assessment from time to time is a good thing and will most often lead to a humble and contrite heart!

Mel


8 posted on 01/15/2014 6:02:46 PM PST by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: markomalley
I would certainly hope that anybody would see the value of a periodic examination of conscience.

Not knowing if there are Roman Catholic nuances tied to that statement, on the surface, I agree.

9 posted on 01/15/2014 6:04:25 PM PST by Gamecock (Celebrating 20,000 posts of dubious quality.)
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To: Gamecock
I was on the professional stage for 30 years and I know theater when I see it. A large number of high profile TV or megachurch preachers are entertainers, not pastors or evangelists.

They hone their oratory skills and know how to rivet the listener's attention through voice inflection, emotional projection and other acting techniques. They are very good at what they do.

However, I am convinced that the ones who capture the imaginations of their listeners are often charlatans who do not believe a word of what they preach. A good salesman can sell anything and even an insincere religion is a powerful convincer.

These people will bear higher scrutiny when they stand before God Almighty. They are either complete nonbelievers or utterly self-deluded. Either way, they are false to the core and more concerned about mammon than God.

Evangelicals would be better served to find a small church with a devoutly sincere pastor who will shepherd them according to Biblical principles. He (it should be a man - beware of woman pastors) should speak to congregation in a steady and genuine manner without shouting, hectoring and storming about the stage. Jesus only seems to have yelled when he was angry such as when he cleared the temple with a whip of cords or upbraided the falsely pious Pharisees.

More discipleship and Christian growth is achieved in one small group Bible study than ten Sunday services.

If the pastor doesn't know your name, you don't have a pastor.

10 posted on 01/15/2014 6:05:00 PM PST by Dr. Thorne ("How long, O Lord, holy and true?" - Rev. 6:10)
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To: Gamecock
I have a hard time understanding exactly what he is saying.

Yes, we all deal with sin even after we're saved. But many people are not enslaved to addiction and those who are should not be Christian leaders.

This guy continued on as a leader although he knew he was enslaved to a perverted lifestyle. He should never have allowed himself to go that far.

I wish the best for him and hope he experiences total freedom...but I don't really think he's saying much of value here.

11 posted on 01/15/2014 6:06:42 PM PST by what's up
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To: Gamecock

I really do not get his point, these “leaders” should step down down and start repenting. They cannot continue to be “leaders”, duh.


12 posted on 01/15/2014 6:12:36 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Dr. Thorne

bump

I totally agree


13 posted on 01/15/2014 6:14:47 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Gamecock
Not knowing if there are Roman Catholic nuances tied to that statement, on the surface, I agree.

I'm a Catholic, and the nuances are not there, except to the degree that Catholics like myself would tend to put them within a Catholic framework.

A non-Catholic who believes in repentance would have to examine his conscience so that his repentance would be more than just a vague, "I'm a sinner." Certainly at Final Judgment our specific sins will be revealed to all.

For Catholics, even outside of sacramental Confession, it is good to practice an Act of Contrition, which is a way to pray "directly to God" specifically for forgiveness of sins. The first stage of making a good Act of Contrition requires such reflection.

Although an Act of Contrition does not have to be said an exact certain way, it must involve true sorrow for sins committed, and not only because of the threat of Divine punishment, but because they are offensive to the all-good God. Finally, it ought to include a resolution to sin no more, and to avoid the things that lead to sin.
14 posted on 01/15/2014 6:17:11 PM PST by Dr. Sivana (“The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone.”-Moshe Yaal)
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To: markomalley
I would certainly hope that anybody would see the value of a periodic examination of conscience.

From a Reformed perspective, one should do so as part of preparation for partaking in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

15 posted on 01/15/2014 6:21:23 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Dr. Thorne
More discipleship and Christian growth is achieved in one small group Bible study than ten Sunday services.

Amen to that. It can be life-changing; provided you get with some people truly grounded in the Bible, who do not view this as a social gathering around snacks, and who will vow not to gossip or divulge what they hear in prayer by others in the group. The group should be small, I would say 7 people max; but with some way of tapping new members if someone has to move away.

16 posted on 01/15/2014 6:23:50 PM PST by Albion Wilde (The less a man knows, the more certain he is that he knows it all.)
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To: PeterPrinciple
I would concur, it wasn’t his fault. He still is not humbled and broken.

I know a minister who was a member of a parole board. He said he gave extra scrutiny to guys who claimed to have found God in prison. He said lots of guys claim to find God in prison but most of them have only found an excuse (The devil made me do it). He said they almost always reoffended.

He said those who accepted their own guilt and sought true repentance tended to be a far better risk. He pointed out that the devil can tempt you but you alone do the evil.
17 posted on 01/15/2014 6:26:38 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Dr. Sivana
A non-Catholic who believes in repentance would have to examine his conscience so that his repentance would be more than just a vague, "I'm a sinner." Certainly at Final Judgment our specific sins will be revealed to all.

To be sure.

We Reformed folk will say that sin so permeates our existence that we don't even know the depth of it. God id merciful and doesn't expose it to us at once, otherwise we would crumble under the weight of all of out sin. We certainly should examine ourselves, especially before the sacrament of communion

18 posted on 01/15/2014 6:30:20 PM PST by Gamecock (Celebrating 20,000 posts of dubious quality.)
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To: Dr. Thorne
If the pastor doesn't know your name, you don't have a pastor.

What an insightful statement.
19 posted on 01/15/2014 6:35:52 PM PST by tenger (It's a good thing we don't get all the government we pay for. -Will Rogers)
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To: Gamecock
Not knowing if there are Roman Catholic nuances tied to that statement, on the surface, I agree.

There's not any particularly nefarious papist nuances.

For me, I evaluate my thoughts and conduct (acts of commission and omission) in light of the 10 commandments, the 7 precepts of the Church (which I fully recognize that non-Catholics would not recognize), the four cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude) and the three theological virtues (faith, hope, charity).

I briefly (informally) run through the above list nightly before my prayers and generally will do so in a more disciplined fashion on a weekly basis.

Other people may have other "templates" (for lack of a better word).

20 posted on 01/15/2014 6:35:58 PM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: Gamecock
Focusing specifically on the scandals and charges of wrongdoing that have surrounded many famed preachers — himself included — Haggard said that evangelical Christians sometimes fail to properly apply the gospel when dealing with faith leaders who fall from grace.

Actually, Scripture outlines quite clearly how to deal with immorality within the church.

And I have yet to find somewhere in Scripture where the office of *faith leader* is listed.

21 posted on 01/15/2014 6:47:19 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Gamecock

Good Lord, he’s wrong on so many levels it’s hard to tell where to begin.


22 posted on 01/15/2014 6:49:15 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: PeterPrinciple
I would concur, it wasn’t his fault. He still is not humbled and broken.

What happened in his past to traumatize him was not his fault, as in the case for ALL Of us who have issues and trauma, but his responsibility was to deal with it appropriately as a Christian.

There are two resources I've stumbled on recently that are wonderful for doing that.

One is a book entitled *Forgiveness* by Rodney Hogue, and the other is a CD set entitled *How to Have an Emotionally Healthy Marriage* by Jimmy Evans.

The book is a very concise, short read about forgiveness and the DC is almost misleading in its title because it's really about becoming an emotionally healthy person, the side benefit is having an emotionally healthy marriage.

The gist of that is to take responsibility for our actions and reactions, and to forgive.

From person experience, I KNOW how powerful forgiveness can be in taking care of issues and sin.

23 posted on 01/15/2014 6:54:11 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Dr. Sivana; Gamecock

The Act of Contrition prayer:

O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.[1] Amen.

http://catholictradition.org/prayers1.htm#CONTRITION1

[1] “to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasions of sin” — this phrase was in the version I learned as a child.


24 posted on 01/15/2014 6:55:22 PM PST by thecodont
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To: Dr. Thorne

You may enjoy this documentary....

Derren Brown - Miracles for Sale
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYjgeayfYPI


25 posted on 01/15/2014 6:57:18 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Dr. Thorne

Preach it, brother.


26 posted on 01/15/2014 6:58:02 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Dr. Sivana
A non-Catholic who believes in repentance would have to examine his conscience so that his repentance would be more than just a vague, "I'm a sinner."

That's not repentance.

And conviction by the Holy Spirit that leads one to Christ for forgiveness is no light thing.

27 posted on 01/15/2014 7:03:31 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: metmom

For sure. Only part I read that I can wholeheartedly agree with is that Christ Himself was the only pure non-sinner. After that, the rest seemed like a cop-out. We all sin - we’re not Christ. But he knew he was doing things Christ would not condone or support him for in judgement before His Father. The ol’ I couldn’t help myself routine just gets old.


28 posted on 01/15/2014 7:03:54 PM PST by RonInNaples
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To: Gamecock

It’s not his fault that he engaged in homosexual adultery and drug use.
It’s the church’s fault because they didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t do it and when it was obvious the charges were true, then they didn’t pretend it didn’t happen.


29 posted on 01/15/2014 7:05:55 PM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: RonInNaples

Blame shifting just doesn’t cut it with God.

The first thing in the *Emotionally Healthy Marriage CD was to take responsibility for your own actions. Quit the blame shifting and quit being a victim. You can’t control what others do to you, but you can control how you react to them.

What makes you is how you deal with it, not the events themselves.


30 posted on 01/15/2014 7:08:52 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Gamecock

Perhaps this is relevant:

2 Corinthians 13:4-5 KJV

For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2 Peter 1:4-12 KJV

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.


31 posted on 01/15/2014 8:01:28 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: Gamecock

This wouldn’t happen if Protestants would let their clergy marry.


32 posted on 01/15/2014 8:01:54 PM PST by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: thecodont

That is an excellent prayer.

Thank you for sharing that.


33 posted on 01/15/2014 8:10:48 PM PST by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: Dr. Thorne

Wise words.


34 posted on 01/15/2014 8:10:48 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: iowamark

Touche.


35 posted on 01/15/2014 8:12:54 PM PST by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
Haggard said that evangelical Christians sometimes fail to properly apply the gospel when dealing with faith leaders who fall from grace... Haggard said that, in the past, evangelical leaders who have been immersed in scandal were often seen as not true believers, however he said this simply isn’t the case. In fact, he argued that most people who are in ministry “are sincere followers of Christ.” While many Christians assume that a conversion to the faith heals all past problems, Haggard said this wasn’t the case in his own experience...
Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven ping. Thanks Gamecock.
36 posted on 01/15/2014 8:19:12 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Gamecock
Just sayin... is my sin any less than this man's sin?

I think not.

But until there is real contrition, anything this "Disgraced Ex-Preacher Says" is moot. To blame evangelical Christianity as having a problem, is obviously his opinion, but that doesn't make what he says as having any merit.

37 posted on 01/15/2014 8:22:27 PM PST by SERE_DOC ( “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” TJ.)
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To: SunkenCiv

They are forgiven IF they seek it.
If they feel they have not sinned, what’s the point in forgiveness?


38 posted on 01/15/2014 8:25:21 PM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Dr. Thorne

“If the pastor doesn’t know your name, you don’t have a pastor.”

AMEN!!!


39 posted on 01/15/2014 8:26:26 PM PST by PastorBooks
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To: Gamecock

Great gif!!!! Sure that wasn’t Democrats voting for Obamacare?


40 posted on 01/15/2014 8:31:48 PM PST by Enten (I don't have islamophobia...I do have islamonausea)
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To: Gamecock

He, like all of us is a sinner. Pray for him


41 posted on 01/15/2014 8:35:37 PM PST by Moleman
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To: AppyPappy

If they just love the attention, and the high regard accorded them by the congregation, and they don’t get caught, what’s the point in contrition, contrived or not?


42 posted on 01/15/2014 8:40:03 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SERE_DOC

I can forgive anyone just about anything, and I know that God can and will forgive it all. I could be a friend of someone like this, and I could worship together with him as co-heirs of God. However, what I can’t accept is someone who has had such a disgraceful and public comeuppance return to the pulpit and resume the responsibility of leading a new congregation. New Life was right to send him packing. It is disgraceful that he has started a new church (saintjameschurch.com) and just as disgraceful that many of the New Life congregants, many of them the big donor types, left with him.


43 posted on 01/15/2014 8:45:57 PM PST by Benito Cereno
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To: Gamecock
Just tonight, we had a Bible Study titled: "Salvation is of the Lord." which examined the popular Christian myth that 'Born Again' is a 15 minute process and that you are a new creation, spiritually there and then at Baptism.

Self examination and temptations occur forever - even to the next life. We are never perfect. Repentance/Reformation/Regeneration is a process.

If your Church is scamming you with 'instant' Salvation, run! Find a real Church that tells the truth!

44 posted on 01/15/2014 8:54:29 PM PST by DaveMSmith (Evil Comes from Falsity, So Share the Truth)
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To: DaveMSmith

There will be no temptation in heaven, there will be no sin.


45 posted on 01/15/2014 10:10:23 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: DaveMSmith

But I must add that one is saved and it is a continual action.


46 posted on 01/15/2014 10:16:09 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

Do you have Scripture saying that spiritual beings do not have temptation? Only the Lord is perfect. The Ten Commandments have an internal/spiritual meaning, like Jesus saying adultery including lusting in the heart...


47 posted on 01/15/2014 10:16:16 PM PST by DaveMSmith (Evil Comes from Falsity, So Share the Truth)
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To: Gamecock; mlizzy; Arthur McGowan; mc5cents; RichInOC; Prince of Space; JoeFromSidney; ...

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ “


48 posted on 01/15/2014 10:16:21 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: DaveMSmith; ThisLittleLightofMine

1 Corinthians 15:42
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption


49 posted on 01/15/2014 10:22:54 PM PST by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: DaveMSmith

Romans 6:4-7
1 John 3:2
1 Cor 15:52

Do you have verses that support temptation in heaven? Can a Holy God allow this?


50 posted on 01/15/2014 10:25:37 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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