Professor Says ‘Fear of Man, Not God’ Led Megachurch Leader to Accept Homosexual Members

StrachanNASHVILLE — A Christian theology professor says that it was the fear of man, not God that led a Tennessee megachurch minister to announce full acceptance of homosexuals in his congregation, including the allowance of those involved in sexual sin to serve in leadership roles and to “marry.”

“If you fear man, God will become small to you,” wrote Owen Strachan, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky. in a post on Friday. “The approval of fellow sinners will matter more to you than obeying God by the witness of His word.”

As previously reported, Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee, told reporters last week that God moved upon him three years ago to begin rethinking his position on inclusion in the congregation. Heretofore, GracePointe had allowed those who identify as homosexuals to attend the services, but drew the line at serving in leadership positions or being “married” by the leadership.

“We were thrust, I believe, by a divine wind, into a prayerful, painful, invigorating, careful and hopeful conversation regarding sexual orientation and gender identity,” he said, remarking that the “art of conversation … is a holy calling.”

According to reports, approximately 15 percent of the congregation at GracePointe identifies as homosexual. Nicole Pasulka of TakePart.com spoke to one of the members, Dale Wigden, who said that he joined the congregation out of his quest to find the answer to the question “Where is the place where I can be gay and Christian?”

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you are, you were born beloved by God,” he recalled GracePointe worship leader Melissa Greene, formerly of the Grammy nominated and Dove Award-winning group Avalon, telling those gathered. She made the comment during a hymn sing as she provided a disclaimer before singing “Amazing Grace,” explaining that she didn’t agree with the use of the word “wretch” in the song.

And because Wigden took from the leadership that God wasn’t out to punish him for his sins, he became “hooked on GracePointe.” He also “felt accepted and had plenty of friends in the congregation, even though he didn’t have equal rights there.”

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But Mitchell, 46, said that some homosexuals left the congregation because they disagreed with GracePointe’s partial inclusion of homosexuals and one man specifically called him, accusing Mitchell of “betraying” him. Others left when he announced a time of listening over the issue because they were appalled that the matter needed to be discussed at all.

“We lost not only those who could bear the pain of partial inclusion no longer, we lost other brothers and sisters who were on the other side, who so deeply believed they knew God’s heart on this matter … as being opposed to any expression of mutual human sexuality other than theirs,” he stated before those gathered.

While knowing that he could further lose members over the issue, and expressing doubt over whether his decision was right, Mitchell announced last month that he was changing GracePointe’s policy to allow “full privileges of membership” to those practicing homosexuality.

“Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill, and willingness. That is expected of all,” Mitchell declared. “Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and to receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism, but child dedication and marriage.”

Greene told Take Part that she agreed with the decision.

“[It’s] God’s heart, as far as we can tell,” she said. “LGBT inclusion is the beautiful byproduct of what we believe the gospel says.”

But while some applauded GracePointe’s move, others have expressed disappointment and are hoping that Mitchell—who does not believe that homosexual behavior is a sin—will repent.

“The move that Mitchell is making is not a heroic one. It is a cowardly one,” Strachan wrote on Friday. “It doesn’t cause true believers any trepidation. It deserves no applause. It merits no commendation. This is a moment of shame for this pastor, not a moment of acclaim.”

He said that he believes many pastors today fear man more than God.

“Many professing evangelicals today have no appetite to honor the Lord. They recognize that the winds of culture are against them,” Strachan stated. “To the core of their being, they are afraid.”

“Are there any in the new Israel, the church, who will honor God? Are the pastors of God’s people boys, and not men? Will we defend the righteousness of God when Satan assails it?” he asked. “Or will we fall silent, grow fearful, and drown out our proclamation of the truth in a series of jokes, qualifications, and selective put-downs of David-like Christians?”

But Strachan also recognized that Christians do not war against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness. He said that his heart cry is for Mitchell’s eyes—and those like him—to be opened.

“I pray that Stan Mitchell … and other pastors and leaders out there who tremble before Goliath will be given eyes to see that they fear man, and not God,” Strachan said. “They are setting themselves and their congregations up for destruction. Gospel Christians do not cheer this downward spiral. We yearn for those who profess Christ to do the loving thing, which is to say, to repent and turn back to the obedience of faith.”


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  • Gary

    Mitchell is not a Christian and has no business pretending to be one. He should give up his act. His “church” would probably keep him as their “pastor” anyway, so he would not have to get a real job.

  • Fundisi

    Strachan is right, when ministers or Christians fear the disapproval of men, when they cower at the accusations of liberal minded people that condone sin, when they pervert the idea of God’s Love and deny His hatred of sin and His justice – this is what happens men such as this minister become apostate and rather than saving souls, they actually encourage people to continue in their sins and that to their death and torment. This is not love, what this pastor is doing, it is hate and it is from the Devil.

    Make no mistake Christians, when you condone sin, when you fail to condemn it, when you pretend people can be saved with true repentance, you are no better than this minister.

    • Spoob

      Too bad you still insist on seeing homosexuality, which everyone knows is not chosen and can’t be changed and isn’t regarded as an illness, as a sin.

      • Fundisi

        To bad you hate God and reject His Word. Homosexuality is both an emotional illness and the result of demonic activity in their lives. It is the sexual sin of idolatry, self-worship and is destroying souls. But you don’t care, you would rather see them in hell that get the emotional and spiritual help they need to get well and avoid the pains of hell. You refuse to call sin to be sin, to fear God’s Justice and you have rejected Christ.

        • Spoob

          You aren’t hurting me by calling me an atheist. I have many atheist friends and all of them are kind, reasonable people. What they aren’t is self-righteous and arrogant.

          • Guest

            Truth isn’t what you want it to be but what God says that it is.

          • Michelle

            Truth isn’t what you want it to be but what God says that it is……

          • Gary

            How did you conclude you are a Christian?

          • Spoob

            By following the basic message of Christ.

          • Gary

            But you don’t do that, You don’t follow Christ AT ALL. You don’t even believe what he said. If you are a Christian, then the term has not meaning.

      • The Last Trump

        Which everyone knows! How ridiculous.
        Funny how EVERYONE KNEW up until THIS generation that it is chosen, can be changed (happens every day), and is absolutely regarded as an illness caused by SIN. Just this misguided, morally bankrupt, pleasure seeking, Bible bashing generation that is suddenly overturning marriage laws and definitions by the hour. Facts Booob. Look ’em up.
        “Everyone knows!” Hee, hee, hee! Too funny.

        • Spoob

          Yeah, hee hee, isn’t it funny that you reject medical science because you can’t bear to give up your long-held bigotries and intolerance? Bronze Age superstition is far more reliable, right Himmler?

          • The Last Trump

            “Bronze age superstitions”!! Man, you must be winning souls for Christ by the dozens, eh? The Word of God is considered nothing more than “bronze age superstitions” with your brand of “Christianity”! Just keep talking dum dum. Not that there is any possible remaining doubt that, Christian, you clearly are not, in ANY sense of the word.
            More rope, Loose Lips?

          • Spoob

            you are completely incapable of critical thinking. You reject science in favor of hate, with no reason for doing so. You are a joke and a menace to society. And you give actual Christians a bad name. Why do you think so many people hate the KKK? And Hitler? And hatred?

          • The Last Trump

            Are you referring to the science that confirms the design and purpose of sexual organs. The science that confirms that any other use of said organs is a clear perversion of the design. No, I love science. It`s YOU that seems to have a problem with it. Go figure.

          • Spoob

            What science is that, Trumpy? Biology 101 will tell you that homosexuality exists, and the sexual organs somehow manage to have no trouble functioning. Reproduction isn’t the only reason people like to get close and express physical affection, didn’t they teach you that in willful ignorance school? Perversion is a word bigots and zealots who REJECT science like to toss around.

          • The Last Trump

            Uh huh. Okey dokey, Loopey. SCIENCE tells us that a pee pee is supposed to go in a bum bum. Biology 101 in the Intollerant School For Traditional Family Hating Homosexuals. Yes, I must confess, I simply must reject your “science”. (Wow. Somebody’s off his meds agaaaain. “Science!” Yikes!)

          • Spoob

            Science doesn’t tell us that it’s SUPPOSED to go there, but I think people, gay but MOSTLY straight, figured out that it CAN go there. Homosexuals don’t hate the tradiional family, stupid, when have you ever seen a homosexual telling a straight married couple that they shouldn’t be married? Until you can do that, you’re talking out your wazoo…yet again.

          • The Last Trump

            Cause they all are affiliated with homosexuality?

          • MC

            If you say you’re a Christian, then go on to say that the Bible is “bronze age superstition”, then it is YOU who give real Christians a bad name. It seems to me you believe in scientism more than Scripture.

          • Spoob

            Scientism, did you actually say “scientism”? No, it’s science I believe, when it proves itself to be true. That’s the difference between science and faith. It’s good to have both, but faith makes lots of promises. Science actually delivers on them in this lifetime.

          • MC

            So, you put your belief in scientism OVER Christ because according to you, science delivers and God actually doesn’t. Well, since you think God is just, “bronze age superstition”, I guess you have to go with scientism.

          • Spoob

            “Belief”? No, that implies trust in an untested system. I ACCEPT science, and when it is wrong it admits it and looks for its mistakes, unlike so many Christians I know who never ever claim to be in error about anything. I never said God was Bronze Age superstition, I used that phrase quite deliberately to see where you would go with it and how it would get twisted. I said The Last Trump put his faith in bronze age superstitions, meaning his take on certain Bible passages.

          • MC

            Why are “certain bible passages” bronze age superstition? And if you believe some are, then how do YOU know which ones, is it the ones that DON’T support your bias? And if you can’t trust some then how can you trust any? And you said,

            “Yeah, hee hee, isn’t it funny that you reject medical science because you can’t bear to give up your long-held bigotries and intolerance? Bronze Age superstition is far more reliable, right Himmler?”

            Nobody “twisted” your words, these are YOUR words. You’re saying that, Scripture, is bronze age superstition, and if a person rejects science it’s because they want to hold onto, “bigotries and intolerance” (Scripture). And then you end it with a snide remark, bronze age superstition, (Scripture), is more reliable than science.

          • Spoob

            Trump’s TAKE on certain Bible passages are bronze age superstition. Be very, very careful what you say because you are starting to put words in my mouth on a regular basis. I read my words over. I stand by them.

            What Trump doesn’t realize is that an interpretation is all ANYONE has. No one’s learned scripture perfectly and no two people know it exactly the same way.

            And if you want to seriously complain about snide remarks, Trump is the king. You get back what you dish out, it’s not complicated.

          • MC

            No one is putting words in your mouth, those are your words and meanings. If you meant them to mean something else then that is YOUR fault for not being clearer, say what you mean, mean what you say. It’s not complicated. Other than that, you didn’t answer my questions. So, Jesus said “you get back what you dish out”? He sure did!

          • Spoob

            Well I am a little tired of playing semantics games with you. Go back to laughing and mocking and believing what you like. I refuse to uphold hate and bigotry.

          • MC

            Well, if you can’t back up any of your assertions then don’t make any. If you claim to be a Christian and call Scripture, “scary books” and “bronze age superstition”, then don’t complain when you get called out on it. After all, this is a Christian site. And I don’t see anyone here upholding “hate and bigotry” except you, towards Christians. You might want to step outside of yourself and look in, you might see some ugliness in there. Peace!

          • Spoob

            You haven’t been paying very close attention then if you think this place is full of ideal Chrsitians. You have Gary who would like to execute all gay people “in the name of God”, Oboehner whose choice names for homosexuals include “fur trader” and “turd burglar”, you have fun people like Trumpy and Fundisi who rail against “perversion” in every single breath over the fairly mundane subject of homosexuality – these are not Christians in my experience. And if they are, then you need to understand that there are certain factions of Christianity which are utterly, utterly evil.

          • Gary

            There are people who claim to be Christians who are utterly, utterly evil. And YOU ARE ONE OF THEM!!!

          • Spoob

            Well you’re a crazy murderous loon, so who cares what you think?

          • Gary

            God does. My fellow believers do.

          • Magister_militum_praesentalis

            Gary, would you personally carry out the execution of utterly false Christians and unrepentant homosexuals if you felt that God would justify it?

          • Gary

            Not unless I worked for a government that was dedicated to following God (theocracy). And I would have to see the command in the Bible, or be told directly by Jesus after he returns to earth.

          • Magister_militum_praesentalis

            Interesting. Those appear to be rather flimsy excuses for not practicing what you preach. What is holding you back?

          • Gary

            There is no way the current US government would execute homosexuals. And on my own, I don’t have the authority to do it.

          • Magister_militum_praesentalis

            That makes no sense considering that the Bible is your sole authority and you believe the Bible to contain God’s direct, inspired commands. What do you care about what government you live under and what a godless government has to say about executing homosexuals?

          • The Last Trump

            “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:7.

          • Magister_militum_praesentalis

            Indeed. However, Gary needs to decide which one is correct and why.

            Is it the Old Testament injunction to execute homosexuals for their moral and religious crimes or the New Testament command to follow the laws of the civil authority? Does St. Paul’s statement cover how to deal with moral and religious problems or matters of the payment of taxes and zoning laws?

          • Magister_militum_praesentalis

            Gary?

          • pax2u

            you can not find it in the Bible, now?

          • The Last Trump

            And they are called “Homosexual “Christians””. Avoid at all costs. 🙂

          • Spoob

            What a shame you don’t get to dictate who is and who isn’t Christian. Thank God.

          • The Last Trump

            Exactly. God does. Sucks to be you! 🙂

          • Spoob

            You’re not God, Trumpy. I know you like pretending you are. But it’s the real world we’re talking about here, not the pretend one where you watch all the people who hurt your fee fee’s burn forever in everlasting agony.

          • The Last Trump

            Looks like all that rope I gave you did the trick, eh Spoobspinster? People questioning your faith. Questioning your motives. Questioning your integrity. Seeing all of your ugly hate and intolerance. Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. You just wouldn’t shut up would you! And now everybody sees what you’re all about.

            “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2.

            “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is deemed intelligent” Proverbs 17:28.
            I’d caution you to think before you speak next, but hey, WHO AM I KIDDING, right? Why mess with tradition, Booob! As you were little buddy.
            You were saying?….. 🙂

          • Spoob

            More about rope, Trumpy? Still on KKK lynching mode? How exactly has anything changed? I am still here pointing out your hatred, bigotry, and absolutely pathetic “Christianity”. Bring all your looney fundie friends over, it’s all the same to me. My behavior isn’t in the spotlight here, YOURS is, Mr. Obama Is a Muslim And I Can Prove It’s In the Bible.

          • The Last Trump

            You can? Where?

          • Spoob

            Your words, not mine.

          • pax2u

            I see that the Last Trump will not condemn Gary’s belief that homosexuals should be executed

            I suppose as long as Gary hates Catholics and is willing to lie about the Catholic Church, the Last Trump will accept that homosexuals should be executed, truly the lunatic fringe

          • The Last Trump

            Quote please.

          • Spoob

            Here you go:

            Me:

            No credible source online says anything about him being
            Muslim. I only read that from conspiracy theorists and YouTube morons.

            Trumpy:

            In the Bible, Spoob. Ya just gotta read the Bible. No? Won’t
            have it? Too pro traditional marriage and family?

            Me:

            Thanks, you actually made me laugh out loud. Are you
            ACTUALLY insane, or are you now going to tell me there is a Bible passage that proves Obama is a Muslim?

            Trumpy:

            Won’t find 20th century events in the Bible!!?? Wow. Can you
            actually be any more UN-CHRISTIAN? Do you actually know anything about the Bible, WHATSOEVER?

          • The Last Trump

            Well will you look at that! Spoobspinster is trying to pull a fast one again, eh, Charlatan! Always have to be deceitful and devious to try to make your case. Sad.

            Six days ago:

            Twister(aka “Spoob”):
            “You are welcome to find me some facts Trumpy”

            Genuine Christian:
            “In the Bible, Spoob. Ya just gotta read the Bible. No? Won’t have it? Too pro traditional marriage and family? Too anti-sexual perversion? I guess you’re right. What would YOU want with a book like that”

            (Notice the references to marriage and sexual perversion regarding the FACTS from the Bible to which I was speaking. NO MENTION OF OBAMA!?)

            Deceiver(aka “Spoob”):
            “Thanks, you actually made me laugh out loud. Are you ACTUALLY insane, or are you now going to tell me there is a Bible passage that proves Obama is a Muslim?”

            (HUH?)

            Genuine Christian:
            “I was referring to FACTS in the Bible, not Obama, confused one. Chalk it up to just another one of many of your interpretation errors.”

            Today:

            Deceiver:
            “My behavior isn’t in the spotlight here, YOURS is, Mr. Obama Is a Muslim And I Can Prove It’s In the Bible”

            ?????!!

            Wow. Not very attractive, Spinster. Once again you display your true colours to the community here in your immature attempts at mud slinging and slandering when you have nothing else of any value to add to the grown ups conversations. Great display of character accusing me of something absolutely ridiculous that you knew full well was not true.

            Yeah, listen to THIS guy folks! He’s some piece of work.

          • Spoob

            You are the one twisting. The facts you were welcome to try to find me were of Obama being Muslim. We were not discussing sexual perversion, the very thread this was all posted in was the Obama thread. You then said the Bible was where I would find it, and I rather incredulously asked if you really believed 20th century events were in the Bible, and you listed a bunch of them (which was some of the worst straw-grasping I have ever seen). I made several references since that time to your claim of Obama’s choice of faith being in the Bible and you took it in stride. It’s only now that you are lying and back pedalling.

          • The Last Trump

            Feel free to go back and check, Deceiver. We both know that I clarified your stupidity, I mean, confusion.
            Twist away, Apostate. Twist away. Nobody’s buying what you’re selling. It just plain stinks. Looks good on you.
            .

          • Spoob

            I stand by my every word, I invite anyone to go see for themselves which will prove that you are lying filth.

          • The Last Trump

            Oooooh, ouch! Lying filth! Sounds like somebody’s case is falling apart again! MUD SLINGING TIME again, eh Booob!
            Careful “Christian”. Your hate is showing.

          • Spoob

            Facts are facts. You also claimed that God talks to you by name, and that you would like to kill all homosexuals and see them burn in hell. This is Christianity, Trumpy-style.

          • The Last Trump

            “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” John 10:27.
            It’s from the Bible, dum dum.
            Unbelieveable. I’m embarrassed for you. Once again.

            Oh, and go ahead and quote me on what you claim I said about homosexuals.
            This oughta be good.

          • Spoob

            That isn’t what you said, you claimed to have conversations with God.

          • The Last Trump

            That’s called PRAYER dum dum.
            Also found in the Bible.
            Wow. I mean…just…wow.

          • Spoob

            No, prayer is something we direct to God. He might answer but not verbally as you claim! What you describe is something befitting men in white coats and a rubber room, and possibly a special helmet to keep you from hurting yourself.

          • The Last Trump

            Okey dokey Dr. Deceiver. I think you’ve had enough to drink for one night. Maybe time to give the incoherent ramblings about Obama, “voices”, rubber rooms and special helmets a rest and get some shut eye, eh? In the morning you can resume the hateful rants against Christians, mud slinging and slandering that embody each of your posts. Remember now, God still loves you, Spoobie! Its not too late to make the decision for Christ. Perhaps tomorrow when you sober up. I ll do that conversing thing I do with God (prayer) for you before I go to bed. Sleep tight! 🙂

          • Spoob

            I get it, Trumpy, truth (not “truth”, but truth) hurts. If you’re concerned about the incoherent ramblings about Obama and the voice of God talking to you, maybe you should ask yourself why you said them. On a public forum. For all the world to see.

            Oh and by the way, I’m not ranting against Christians. Just pseudo-Christians whose God is hate and intolerance. But don’t worry, you’re still top of the hit parade.

          • pax2u

            will you use the rope to execute homosexuals with Gary?

            or will it be gas as Gary is a fan of fascists

          • MC

            Wait, you say “bronze age superstition”, yet you pray to a woman named Mary who died over 2000 years ago?

          • Spoob

            I do?

      • S_O_T_A

        It’s not even an identity, so your statement is so wrong it’s frightening. I guess all those people who left homosexuality behind and see it as an aberration of their male or female sexuality are wrong also?

        • Spoob

          Nobody left their homosexuality behind, that is impossible. Why do you think Exodus International, the largest ex-gay organization in the world, closed their doors, admitted they were fraudulent, and apologized to the world?

  • Harry Oh!

    One pastor condoning sin is not all that strange. But how the rest of the 1500 members justify going along with him is the disturbing part. The days of Noah are fast approaching.

    • Gary

      All of the real Christians have left. If there ever were any.

    • G Smith

      You are so right.

    • Jack C. Hall Jr.

      The most Christian thing ive seen all of my life is this welcoming of gays into the church, its what Jesus would do.

    • Bill731

      They should have fired him on the spot and Greene too.

  • Mary Waterton

    He nailed it … it’s cowardice. God hates cowards (Revelation 21:7), especially cowards in the pulpit. Mitchell is not the only coward. The majority of the pastors in America are cowards: afraid to preach Biblical standards, afraid to call for repentance, afraid to confront open sin, afraid to speak out against the Government, afraid of losing their 501(c)(3) tax exemption, afraid of being politically incorrect, afraid they won’t be popular, afraid they won’t be loved, afraid of their own shadow.

  • James Clarkston

    Yes, fear of man… and he’s probably seeing a cute guy on the side and feels like a hypocrite unless he quits, so instead of quitting he comes out in support of the overly happy people.

    This is a real possibility. Those that support those that are overly happy obviously view that sort of thing favorably

  • MC

    Another liberal church soon to lose its members and become history.

    • Spoob

      I’m going to guess that is not going to happen.

      • The Last Trump

        Never guess. Read the Bible. It’s all in there.
        You’re welcome.

        • Spoob

          Is it before the chapter where God says Obama is a Muslim, or after the chapter where God says Catholics aren’t Christians? Oh, and which edition, I only have a NIV, not a Make It Up As You Go Along edition.

          • The Last Trump

            Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!…….Oh. You were serious. YOU don`t have a Make It Up As You Go Along Edition (the G.A.Y. Version)! Riiiiight.

          • Spoob

            Chapter and verse, please, Trumpy. I ran a scan on my online bible and found zero references to the words Obama, homosexuality, transgender, Muslim, Catholic, and all sorts of other BS that you try to float.

          • The Last Trump

            YOU HAD TO RUN A SCAN!! Tsk tsk. Pitiful.

          • Spoob

            Actually I didn’t. But you know very well what would happen if I did, so why are you lying about these things being in the Bible?

          • MC

            The gay bible is the Queen James version.

        • Gary

          Some believe the Bible, and some don’t. I wish the ones who don’t would stop pretending they are Christians.

      • MC

        Guess again.

        “According to TIME, Mitchell’s congregation continues to shrink since he first made the announcement two years ago that he was going to open a listening period over the issue. Two years ago, GracePointe had an average of 800-1000 members in attendance, and after he announced full inclusion for homosexuals this month, attendance went down to 673. Last week, it stood at 482.”

        This is happening to all Liberal churches, this one will soon be a memory. LOL!

        • Spoob

          Stats please? Where I live, there are primarily what you would call “liberal” churches and their memberships are thriving. The ones I see closing their doors are the radical Pentecostal ones.

          • MC

            The data for 1960 and 2012 are from the Association of Religion Data Archives

            Assemblies of God (very conservative)

            1960: 508,000

            2009: 2,914,000

            United Pentecostal (very conservative)

            1960: 175,000

            2009: 646,000

            Church of God (ultra conservative)

            1960: 170,000

            2009: 1,076,000

            Presbyterian Church in America (broke away from the liberal Presbys)

            1973: 41,322

            2009: 341,210

            Evangelical Free Church

            1960: 31,543

            2008: 356,000

            Church of the Nazarene

            1960: 307,000

            2009: 645,000

            Christian and Missionary Alliance

            1960: 59,000

            2009: 432,000

            Mormons (not orthodox in theology, but conservative on social issues)

            1960: 1,486,000

            2009: 6,058,000

            Seventh-Day Adventists (not orthodox in theology, but conservative on social issues)

            1960: 317,000

            2009: 1,043,000

            By contrast, the losing liberals:

            Episcopalians

            1960: 3.2 million (1.8% of US population)

            2012: 1.8 million (0.66%)

            The 2012 figure reported

            United Church of Christ

            1960: 2,056,000

            2012: 998,080,000

            Roughly half its members in 50 years.

            * The 2012 figure was reported in the liberal site The Christian Century.

            United Methodist

            1960: 11,026,000

            2009: 7,774,000

            Presbyterian Church USA

            1983 (year of their merger): 3.1 million

            2012: 1.8 million

            The 2012 figured reported

            Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

            1987 (year of their merger): 5.2 million

            2010: 3.9 million

          • Spoob

            And this is where? In the United States? Worldwide? What?

          • MC

            A New Exodus? Americans are Exiting Liberal Churches

            “We have figured out your problem. You’re the only one here who believes in God.” That statement, addressed to a young seminarian, introduces Dave Shiflett’s new book, Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity. The book is an important contribution, and Shiflett offers compelling evidence that liberal Christianity is fast imploding upon itself.”

            Is liberal Christianity signing its own death warrant?

            “One week after the U.S. Episcopal Church overwhelmingly voted to approve a provisional rite for blessing gay unions and the ordination of transgender people, Bishop Lawrence said in an interview with NBC News that his denomination is moving too far out of the mainstream.

            “Do I think that these two decisions will cause further decline? I believe they will,” Bishop Lawrence said. “I think we’ve entered into a time of sexual and gender anarchy.”

            “Douthat suggests that the Episcopalians and Presbyterians “pause, amid their frantic renovations, and consider not just what they would change about historic Christianity, but what they would defend and offer uncompromisingly to the world. Absent such a reconsideration, their fate is nearly certain: they will change, and change, and die.”

            The Episcopal Church’s headquarters, now up for sale

            While indignantly denying their impending demise, the Episcopalians quietly voted to sell their Manhattan headquarters because they can’t even pay for its upkeep. Yet, the big media headline was their approval of transgender clergy and homosexual marriage. At their own convention, the Presbyterians seemed headed in the same direction, then hesitated, falling short of the votes needed to embrace same-sex weddings and shunning anybody who does business with Israel.”

            “The New York Times’Ross Douthat a few days ago observed that the Episcopalians’ and Presbyterians’ recent conventions didn’t “seem to be offering anything you can’t already get from a purely secular liberalism.” In other words, why bother going to such a church when you can get more at the Rotary Club or your favorite sports bar?”

            “Worldwide, church membership is up – and growing.Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Global Christianity reports that there are 1.1 billion Roman Catholics – and in the next 12 years, the number will increase 15.5 percent to 1.3 billion. In the same period, traditional mainline Protestants are expected to grow by 11.22 percent – from 346 million to 385 million.

            However, another unsung group of Christians is eclipsing the traditional mainline Protestants. Evangelical independents are projected to grow 15.8 percent by 2025 to 437 million – 50 million more than the traditional mainstream Protestants.”

            ➽”“Everybody knows that the so-called ‘mainline’ is now the sideline,” writes De Groote. “’The United Church of Christ, Presbyterians, Methodists and the Episcopalians have been shrinking at a rather prodigious rate. But that isn’t because people left church, it is because people left those churches,’ says Stark. ‘Groups like the Assemblies of God have doubled and redoubled in size in the same period of time.’”⬅︎

            however, sees the explanation as simple.

            “People go to church for religion, not for all these social things. Strange as that may seem. If you get up in the morning and go to a church where religion is not being taken seriously, you go someplace else. I don’t think that is very surprising.”

            Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?

            “Yet instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes, the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace. Last week, while the church’s House of Bishops was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for 2000-10 circulated in the religion blogosphere. They showed something between a decline and a collapse: In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase.”

          • Spoob

            If this is in the US, I am not surprised. However not all of us live in the US and may have very different stories to tell.

          • MC

            Yes, it is the US as it says.

          • MC

            “Recently, in light of a steep decline in attendance at Church of England services, Baroness Brenda Hale, one of England’s top judges, told a conference at Yale Law School that the Church of England is in decline precisely it makes so few demands on its adherents: “It has no dietary laws, no dress codes for men or women and very little that its members can say is actually required of them by way of observance.”

            How remarkable. It appears that Lady Hale is aware of the old adage that if something costs nothing, it is worth nothing.”

          • Spoob

            I live in Canada. Sorry, Lady Hale.

          • MC

            The United Church of Canada

            “Porter couldn’t envision what was beginning the very year his book came out: the church he saw as so Canadian was on the eve of a decline that wouldn’t cease, dropping from roughly 1,064,000 members in 1965 to just under 464,000 in 2012. The rate of decline is accelerating.”

            ““Decades after the United Church was inaugurated,” Airhart writes, “a new generation of leaders would still praise as wise the decision not to separate moral and social concerns from evangelism.” But it was not to be. To many contemporary Canadians, evangelism meant Billy Graham’s call for personal salvation, not the United Church’s vision of a Christian social order in which the poor and the excluded become full participants. By the end of the 1960s, Airhart writes, “to be a liberal evangelical was almost a contradiction in terms.”
            The United Church culture began to change deeply in other ways too. In the mid-1960s, the church’s historic Sunday school booklets were replaced by the New Curriculum, which reached 90 percent of congregations, seeking to present Christian theology with modern insight and candour. Sadly, the appeal to the new generation didn’t work. As Airhart records, three years after the New Curriculum’s introduction, Sunday school enrolment had declined by a sharp 25 percent, a trend mirrored in denominations across North America.”

            “Airhart’s book is both constructive and painful. She offers specific possibilities as to what sparked the church’s crisis in membership, but the overarching cause seems clear. What happened in Europe, made so vivid in Britain, had come to Canada.”

            “However, the United Church of Canada also has to deal with a dramatic decline in membership: membership has dipped from more than a million in the mid-1960s to less than 500,000 now.

            Retired United Church minister David Ewart estimates that by 2025 membership will drop to around 250,000.

            “If the trend of the last 10 years does not change, then yes, indeed that would be the membership in 2025,” Ewart said.

            Even more strikingly, Ewart estimates that if current trends hold, by 2025 the United Church will be attracting zero new followers.

            ➽➽➽Ewart attributes that to liberal theology.⬅︎⬅︎⬅︎

            ➽➽➽“Because we’re so liberal … we have a hard time selling ourselves,” he said.⬅︎⬅︎⬅︎

            “So, while the United Church calls people toward environmental activism, it doesn’t call for personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”

            “The United Church measures Sunday service attendance in October and November every year, and its figures for the past three decades have recorded the decline perhaps better than in any other Christian church.

            In 2011, 3,527 Calgarians attended a United church service regularly. The national figure was 166,936.

            In 2000, Calgary drew was 5,915. Nationally, 270,361 attended.

            And so on. In 1990 the numbers were 6,538 and 338,040. In 1980, 6,286 and 389,492.”

          • Spoob

            I’m not United Church, and you don’t know where in Canada I live.

          • MC

            Doesn’t matter, this is proof that liberal churches are dying out. You wanted stats and I gave them, I back up my assertions.

          • Spoob

            I wouldn’t take too much pleasure from that fact if I were you, the fundie churches are dying off just as rapidly.

          • MC

            Um, no, if you actually read the stats then you would have noticed that conservative churches are growing as liberal churches lose members.

            “”Worldwide, church membership is up – and growing.Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Global Christianity reports that there are 1.1 billion Roman Catholics – and in the next 12 years, the number will increase 15.5 percent to 1.3 billion. In the same period, traditional mainline Protestants are expected to grow by 11.22 percent – from 346 million to 385 million.

            “However, another unsung group of Christians is eclipsing the traditional mainline Protestants. Evangelical independents are projected to grow 15.8 percent by 2025 to 437 million – 50 million more than the traditional mainstream Protestants.”

          • Spoob

            Um, yes. Where I live, I know if two Baptist churches that have shut their doors for good, and a megachurch they had high hopes for has been a colossal failure. So there IS some good news to be had.

          • MC

            And a lot of Catholic Churches closed in New York alone, does that mean the RCC ceasees to exist?

          • Spoob

            There’s still over a billion Catholics worldwide, I’m guessing they’ve weathered lots of storms in 2000 years, radical fundamentalism will be yet another one of those.

          • MC

            What was the name of the mega church, and where was it located?

          • Spoob

            I am not comfortable posting the name of my hometown.

          • MC

            Just give me the name of the mega church.

          • Spoob

            Sorry.

          • MC

            So, does this mega church even exist? Are we just supposed to take your word for it? If you’re going to make an assertion, please back it up.

          • Spoob

            I don’t need to back it up, it’s entirely up to you if you want to say I’m lying. I know I’m not, and if I gave you the name of it you’d just explain it all away somehow anyway.

          • MC

            It sounds like you’re paranoid. If you back up your assertions then a person has the right to fact check your sources, am I right?

          • Spoob

            You’ve got to be kidding. This site contains people who believe in killing others in the name of God. I’m not breathing a word regarding anything about where I live.

          • MC

            Are you the only one who lives in your town, do others go by the name, “Spoob”?

          • MC

            Oh, and if you know there are people who want to kill others, then you should report them to the proper authorities.

          • Spoob

            Gary has stated it quite openly, that homosexuals should be put to death. Administration here seems to take no issue with it.

          • MC

            If you see those kinds of posts, just flag them.

          • Spoob

            And then there are people like Trump who claim that God talks to them. We’re not talking about paragons of stability here.

          • Spoob

            Also, interestingly, I just read some data that contradicts practically everything you posted. With few exceptions, Christianity appears to be on the decline worldwide, including in the US.

          • pax2u

            watch out, I reference a Gordon Conwell study regarding the number of Christian denominations, and the Last Trump said that it could not be trusted

            I suppose since the Gordon Conwell Seminary was founded by Baptists the Last Trump could not accept them as truthful

          • The Last Trump

            The Last Trump said no such thing. The Last Trump could care less about the number of denominations. The Last Trump follows the teachings of the Holy Bible and his Lord Jesus Christ as he was commanded to do. Denominations are of no consequence to God or to The Last Trump. Glad I could clear that up for you.

          • pax2u

            pax2u 5 days ago

            which of the 30 thousand denominations is yours, or are you just alone as are all of the lunatic fringe

            The Last Trump 5 days ago

            Careful Pax. You sure you want to go back down this road, “friend”?

            so Trumpy do you trust a Baptist Seminary?

          • The Last Trump

            Thanks for confirming that I said no such thing. Guess that settles the matter, with two witnesses and all.

          • pax2u

            I thought that you took offense at the idea of 30 thousand denominations,

            I did not realize that you were offended as being part of the lunatic fringe, I apologize

          • The Last Trump

            No apology required. I don’t take offense. You are always forgiven. 🙂

          • pax2u

            I forgive you

          • The Last Trump

            ? For what?

          • pax2u

            I take no offense from your statements, and forgive you

          • The Last Trump

            Umm…….Oh. (!?)
            Whatever.

          • pax2u

            do you believe that homosexuals should be executed as Gary does,

          • MC

            As long as the denominations agree on the essentials there is no problem.

          • pax2u

            if they agree why are there over 30 thousand?

          • MC

            “Question: “Which of the 30,000 Protestant denominations is the true church of God?”

            Answer: In order to argue against Protestantism and Sola Scriptura, Roman Catholics will often ask, sarcastically, that if we are to only go by what the Bible says, not church tradition, which of the 30,000-plus Protestant denominations has the correct interpretation? The argument is essentially that, since the Reformation has resulted in thousands of denominations/divisions within Christianity, which is clearly not God’s desire, Sola Scriptura must be invalid and God must have established an infallible interpreter of Scripture; namely, the Roman Catholic Church, the first church, the one true church of God.

            The “30,000 Protestant denominations” argument fails on several points. First, there are not 30,000 Protestant denominations. Even under the most liberal definition of what constitutes a denomination, there are nowhere close to 30,000 Protestant denominations. The only way to get even remotely close to the 30,000 figure is to count every minor separation as an entirely different denomination. Further, the vast majority of Protestant Christians belong to just a handful of the most common Protestant denominations; i.e., Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc. Yes, it is undeniably sad that there are so many denominations, but the 30,000 Protestant denominations argument is an extreme exaggeration of the reality of the divisions within Protestantism.

            Second, even if there genuinely were 30,000 Protestant denominations, one thing all Protestant denominations agree on is that the Roman Catholic Church is not the one true church of God. Protestant denominations are unanimous in rejecting the papacy, the supremacy of Rome, prayer to saints/Mary, worship of saints/Mary, transubstantiation, purgatory, and most other Roman Catholic dogmas. Sola Scriptura has led all Protestant denominations to the same conclusion – the Bible does not teach many of the things Roman Catholics practice/believe. Further, outside of disagreeing with Roman Catholicism, the Protestant denominations agree on far more issues than they disagree on. Most of the Protestant denominations were formed because of a non-essential doctrine, a side issue, on which Christians can agree to disagree. As an example, Pentecostalism separated from the other denominations based primarily on the issue of speaking in tongues. While tongues can be an important issue in the Christian life, in no sense does it determine the genuineness of faith in Christ.

            Third, there is no infallible interpreter of Scripture, nor is there a need for one. There is no infallible denomination or church. Even after receiving Christ as Savior, we are all still tainted by sin. We all make mistakes. No denomination/church has absolutely perfect doctrine on every issue. The key is this – all the essentials of the faith are abundantly clear in God’s Word. We do not need an infallible interpreter or 2,000 years of church tradition to determine that there is one God who exists in three Persons, that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected from the dead, that Jesus is the one and only way of salvation, that salvation is received by grace through faith, that there is an eternal heaven awaiting those who trust in Christ and an eternal hell for those who reject Him.

            The core truths that a person needs to know and understand are absolutely and abundantly clear in Scripture. Even on the non-essentials, if Sola Scriptura were consistently applied, there would be unanimity. The problem is that it is very difficult to perfectly and fully apply Sola Scriptura, as our own biases, faults, preferences, and traditions often get in the way. The fact that there are many different denominations is not an argument against Sola Scriptura. Rather, it is evidence that we all fail at truly allowing God’s Word to fully shape our beliefs, practices, and traditions.”

          • pax2u

            the study of over 30 thousand non Catholic Christian denominations comes from the Baptist founded Gordon Conwell theological seminary a Protestant organization, not from the Catholic Church

          • MC

            Yes, I know. And even the Catholics can refute the numbers of Non- Catholic denominations, then should we trust their methods? They even say there are 242 catholic denominations, so what’s wrong with this picture? Be honest.

          • pax2u

            it was a Protestant study by a Protestant Seminary, do you not trust a Baptist Protestant Seminary?

            there are about 27 rites of the Catholic Church that are in communion with the Holy See, the Bishop of Rome, if they are not in communion with the Holy See, the Bishop of Rome, then by definition they are not Catholic, they are Protesting the Catholic Church, they are Protestants

          • MC

            According to the source that you’re getting the 30,000 number from, there are 242 Catholic denominations, which is part of the 30,000 number, they are NOT protestants. If you can claim they’re wrong then why can’t we claim they’re wrong about there being 8000 protestant denominations, when in fact there are only a handful?

          • pax2u

            if those 242 are not in communion with the Holy See, the Bishop of Rome, then they are protesting the Holy See, the Bishop of Rome, the Catholic Church by definition they protest, are protestants and are not Catholic

            where does the name of protestant come from, if not protesting the Catholic Church

            do you not trust the a Baptist founded Protestant Seminary?

          • MC

            Question: If one thing is clear, it’s that there is one, single, visible Church that Jesus founded. This multitude of competing, conflicting denominations is no sign of God’s work; therefore, it must be the work of the Evil One. Somewhere in the midst of these 30,000 denominations, there is one true church, and the rest are in sin and rebellion.

            Answer: The “thousands-of-denominations” argument is very often employed to prove all sorts of things. Here are some citations from letters received from other Catholics:

            How can all these denominations claim to follow the Bible yet all come to different conclusions? How can I possibly know which one of those above teach the truth when they can’t even agree on what the Bible says? The Bible alone has created so much havoc in this world.

            If there is only one Church, why are there so many Protestant denominations? Possibly many thousands throughout the world, as compared to only one Catholic Church? I do see it as a sign of God’s judgment that there are close to 30,000 Protestant denominations.

            The Bible alone can be dangerous. In fact, the Bible alone IS dangerous. Look at Protestantism: 100,000 different interpretation of the Bible, 100,000 contradictions, 100,000 different denominations claiming to have the key.

            Peter said that no prophecy of the Scripture is for private interpretation. This is why you have 30,000 different Protestant denominations that all believe differently from one another. This alone should give you a clue that Protestantism is not the true Church of Jesus Christ.

            So, the existence of many Protestant denominations supposedly proves that the Sola Scriptura is dangerous, that we should not try to understand the Bible for ourselves, that the church of Rome is the one true church, and of course, all the other churches are false.

            Elsewhere I have written on the significance of the heterogeneity among Christians. (See That They May Be One and Disagreement among Protestants). ➽➽Here I simply want to make one important addition, namely, that the allegation so often repeated by Catholic apologists that there are 20,000 to 30,000 Protestant denominations is simply FALSE . . . not to mention the double standard employed, for the Roman Church is not exactly united.⬅︎⬅︎ ➽➽There are untold factions and divisions, and diverse understanding of doctrine within Catholic groups and by different Catholic theologians and individuals.⬅︎⬅︎

            In an article entitled “30,000 Protestant Denominations?”, Evangelical apologist Eric Svendsen exposes the falsehood of this fabrication. Briefly:

            Svendsen shows that the source of this figure is the World Christian Encyclopedia (David A. Barrett; Oxford University Press, 1982).

            Barrett cites a figure of 20,780 denominations. However not all of them are Protestants. According to Barrett, Protestants account for 8,196 (and incidentally, ➽➽Roman Catholics account for 223).⬅︎⬅︎

            ➽However, even this figure of eight thousand Protestant denominations is misleading, for Barrett defines “distinct denominations” as any group that might have a slightly different emphasis than another group. The distinction is made on the basis of jurisdiction, rather than differing beliefs and practices.

            Barrett breaks down the Protestant bloc into twenty-one major “traditions” which are much closer to what we usually mean by the word “denominations.” It is interesting that Roman Catholics are subdivided into sixteen such “traditions.”

            ➽➽Svendsen concludes, “In short, Roman Catholic apologists have hurriedly, carelessly – and, as a result, irresponsibly – glanced at Barrett’s work, found a large number (22,189), and arrived at all sorts of absurdities that Barrett never concluded.”—justforcatholics.

            Roman Catholics (242 denominations)

            Now for the “Roman Catholic” denominations. These appear to be broken down by various rites:

            Armenian (Eastern-rite Catholic)

            Bulgarian (Byzantine rite)

            Byzantine-rite (jurisdiction for more than one ethnic group)

            Chaldean (Eastern Syrian rite)

            Coptic (Alexandrian rite)

            Ethiopic (Alexandrian rite)

            Greek (Byzantine rite)

            Hungarian (Byzantine rite)

            Italo-Albanian (Byzantine rite)

            Jurisdiction for both Latin-rite and Eastern-rite Catholics

            Latin-rite Catholic

            Malankara (Syro-Antiochian, Eastern Syrian), Syro-Malankarese

            Maronite (Syro-Antiochian, Western Syrian)

            Melkite (Byzantine, Greek Catholic; Arabic-speaking)

            plural Oriental (jurisdiction for several Eastern rites)

            Romanian Byzantine rite

            Russian (Byzantine rite)

            Ruthenian (Byzantine rite)

            Slovak (Byzantine rite)

            Syro-Malabarese (Eastern Syrian)

            Syrian, Syriac-speaking (Syro-Antiochian, West Syrian)

            Ukrainian Byzantine rite

            “As a statistical unit in this Encyclopedia, a ‘denomination’ always refers to one single country. Thus the Roman Catholic Church, although a single organization, is described here as consisting of 236 denominations in the world’s 238 countries.” (Barrett, et al, World Christian Encyclopedia, volume 1, page 27, in the “Glossary” under definition for “Denomination” [later updated to 242]

            As defined here, world Christianity consists of 6 major ecclesiastico-cultural blocs, divided into 300 major ecclesiastical traditions, composed of over 33,000 distinct denominations in 238 countries, these denominations themselves being composed of over 3,400,000 worship centers, churches or congregations.” (Barrett et al, volume 1, page 16, Table 1-5, emphasis added)

            So we have, according to Barrett’s Encyclopedia:

            a denomination is defined as existing within a specific country

            there are 33,000+ total of these “Christian denominations” in 238 total countries

            These 33,000 are subdivided into “6 major ecclesiastico-cultural mega-blocs”, and ordering them by denomination size we have (I am rounding up or down slightly for convenience, using year 2000 figures) :

            Independents (about 22000)

            Protestants (about 9000)

            “Marginals” (about 1600)

            Orthodox (781)

            Roman Catholics (242)

            Anglicans (168)

            So the 33,000 number is from the total of these 6 mega-blocs:

            22000 + 9000 + 1600 + 781 + 242 + 168 = 33,000+

            Now, if intellectually honest Catholics can admit those number are false, I’m sure you can too.

          • pax2u

            Jesus Christ gave the world a Church
            Martin Luther gave man 30 thousand denominations

            I see that you referenced the Gordon Conwell theological seminary on a post to Spoob, I would then assume that you find them to be a reputable Protestant seminary

          • MC

            First, the Church is the Body of Christ, it’s not a denomination. Second, if intellectually honest Catholics, like the ones in my post, can refute the fact that there isn’t 30 thousand denominations, or 9000 thousand protestant denominations, and if you see they also, (the authors of the book), claim 242 catholic denominations, then, can YOU trust them?

            “Any agency consisting of a number of congregations or churches voluntarily aligning themselves with it. As a statistical unit in this survey, a ‘denomination’ always refers to one single country. Thus the Roman Catholic Church, although a single organization, is described here as consisting of 236 denominations in the world’s 238 countries.”—Justin J. Evans
            Research Assistant
            Center for the Study of Global Christianity
            Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
            130 Essex Street #228
            South Hamilton, MA 01982 USA

            ““Denominations. A denomination is defined in this Encyclopedia as an organized aggregate of worship centers or congregations of similar ecclesiastical tradition within a specific country; i.e. as an organized Christian church or tradition or religious group or community of believers, within a specific country, whose component congregations and members are called by the same denominational name in different areas, regarding themselves as one autonomous Christian church distinct from other denominations, churches and traditions. As defined here, world Christianity consists of 6 major ecclesiastico-cultural blocs, divided into 300 major ecclesiastical traditions, composed of over 33,000 distinct denominations in 238 countries, these denominations themselves being composed of over 3,400,000 worship centers, churches or congregations.” (Barrett et al, volume 1, page 16, Table 1-5, emphasis added)

            So we have, according to Barrett’s Encyclopedia:

            a denomination is defined as existing within a specific country

            there are 33,000+ total of these “Christian denominations” in 238 total countries”

          • pax2u

            I think that there are 27 rites of the Catholic Church, I am of the Latin rite, all are in theological communion with the Holy See, the Bishop of Rome

          • MC

            And yet they count it as 242 separate Catholic denominations which is added to the 30,000 denominations. There are only a handful of Protestant denominations, where they differ is in Non-essentials.

            St. Augustine — “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity…”

          • pax2u

            anyone can call themselves Catholic, but unless they are in theological communion with the Holy See, the Bishop of Rome, as the rites are then they are not Catholic.

            a Schismatic group may say that they are “Catholic” but unless they are in theological communion with the Holy See, the Bishop of Rome they are Protesting the Catholic Church and they are Protestants

          • MC

            Exactly, thank you for your honesty. Anyone can call themselves Christian, but if they don’t believe in the essentials they are a cult. They even list the Branch Davidian’s as a Christian denomination. Same goes for the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons.

          • pax2u

            and that is why there are more than 30 thousand non Catholic denominations who call themselves Christian Churches

          • MC

            Right, there are only a handful of Protestant denominations who agree on essentials and the rest are cults. Like you said, anyone can call themselves Christian, just like standing in your garage doesn’t make you a car.

          • pax2u

            an example are Baptists, do all Baptists agree? do they all agree with the Westboro Baptist Church who protest the funerals of soldiers who have died for American? I would say no

            of the 30 thousand how many are cults?

          • MC

            Any that don’t believe in the essentials. And the Westboro Baptist Church is a cult, they are made up of family members only.

            “Manifesto of Westboro Baptist Church

            We are a TULIP Baptist Church!
            We believe — and vigorously preach — the 5 Points of Calvinism!
            Anyone preaching otherwise is a Hell-bound false prophet, a messenger of Satan, to whom we say, Anathema Maranatha! and, Let him be accursed of God!

            To every lover of Arminian lies — believing and preaching that God loves every individual of mankind — we say, You are going to Hell! Period! End of discussion! God’s decree sending you to Hell is irreversible! Hypocrites! How can ye escape the damnation of Hell?!”

            Now, Calvinists are not a cult, but the Westboro Baptist Church is, and a hate group. I can’t find one redeeming quality in that church.

          • pax2u

            I agree with you on the Westboro Baptist Church

            I pray that we ALL have more in common then we have in disagreement, our focus should always be on the redeeming Love, Hope and Mercy of our personal Savior Jesus Christ,

            In this world with so many who hate the message of Jesus, and who want to destroy us and his message we should see each other as Christian brothers, and sisters

          • MC

            I believe we can all agree that we all are sinners who fall short of the Glory of God. And that the only way for salvation is through Jesus Christ.

          • pax2u

            amen

          • pax2u

            if an Anglican believes in infant baptism and a Baptist believes in adult full immersion, is that an essential?

          • MC

            No, that is a non essential. So is the age of the earth, or if the flood was worldwide or local.

          • pax2u

            some Baptists may disagree,

            others may be Calvinist and believe in pre destination, others may believe in free will,

            some may believe in Once Saved Always Saved, others may believe in the possible loss of Salvation

          • MC

            As long as they agree on the essentials.

          • pax2u

            is a belief in the Christian Trinity
            of
            God the Father,
            God the Son, Jesus Christ,and
            God the Holy Spirit,

            is this an essential to your Christian belief?

          • MC

            Absolutely!

          • pax2u

            then my Church teaches that you are my Christian brother or sister, we may be separate brethren in all theological doctrine, but I am taught to accept you as my Christian brother or sister

            blessings to you and yours

          • MC

            Exactly, what we differ from you is in non essentials. We are Brothers in Christ, part of the Body of Christ. In Christ, MC

          • pax2u

            can you trust this study? it shows the Catholic Church growing to over 1.3 billion souls for Jesus Christ increasing at 15.5%

            but the Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary is a Baptist founded Protestant Seminary, so I would agree it is not biased in favor of the Catholic Church

          • MC

            Yes, I can trust this study, what I don’t trust is how they count denominations. It seems they do justice to the Catholic Church.

          • pax2u

            The study came from a Protestant Seminary, you believe this study on the growth of Christianity, but do you also believe the same Protestant Seminary on its study of over 30 thousand non Catholic Christian denominations?

          • MC

            Yes, I can trust their church growth projection, I don’t agree with how they count denominations. Simple.

          • pax2u

            can the Baptist founded, Protestant Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary be trusted as accurate? or only on those facts that you agree with

          • MC

            Yes, and the reason for that is I’ve seen church growth projections in the past that has nothing to do with this group. Look at the Christian Church growth happening around the world. It’s pretty exciting, Praise the Lord!

          • pax2u

            the Catholic Church has seen great growth in Africa, and Asia

          • MC

            Yes, same for the Protestants.

            “Meanwhile, the faith has grown exponentially in sub-Saharan Africa, from just 9% of the population in 1910 to 63% today. Nigeria, home to more than 80 million Christians, has more Protestants than Germany, where the Protestant Reformation began.

            “As a result of historic missionary activity and indigenous Christian movements by Africans, there has been this change from about one in 10 (sub-Saharan Africans) identifying with Christianity in 1910 to about six in 10 doing so today,” Hackett said.

            For its part, Europe is more religiously diverse than it was in 1910, when 94% was Christian. Still, Europe hasn’t abandoned its Christian heritage, according to the report. Today, 76% of Europeans self-identify as Christian.

            “Many people may have the impression that a smaller percentage of Europe claims to be Christian” than is actually the case, Hackett said.

            The report also sheds light on the difficult question of how many Chinese are Christians. Researchers have struggled to get reliable numbers since China’s policies on religion are thought to discourage Christians from self-identifying as such in official surveys.

            Adjusting for such variables, Pew researchers believe Christianity has flourished despite a policy forbidding Christianity among Communist Party members. Researchers estimate the Christian community in China includes 5% of the population, or 67 million.”

    • Terry Roll

      That is called churches in general. Church membership is on the decline. I am sure this must be a sign the Apocalypse is close.

  • NorthWulf

    A relative of mine attended GracePoint after moving to Nashville. She quickly left the church, saying that their sermons were all the kind where they came up with an idea and then cherry-picked parts of the Bible to support it.

  • Cory Stafford

    You can’t be gay and a Christian. That is hypocrisy at it’s worst. That is like being A Christian pedophile or a Christian murderer. It is an oxymoron.

    • Fundisi

      I agree, but just remember when the Holy Spirit through Paul spoke of children of God “formerly” being among these people. They can be redeemed.

      • Cory Stafford

        It is obvious they have no desire to repent. They wanted to be gay and Christian, so this “church” lied to them and told them their perversion would be accepted.

        • Fundisi

          They can be gay, come to Christ, be saved and healed and no longer be gay. Yes, for the most part the sexual lust underlying homosexuality is so strong, like drug addiction that, they do not want to be healed and yet want to be saved and both cannot be true at the same time.

          • Cory Stafford

            Yes, but they said they wanted to be gay and Christian, which means they want to continue practicing their sodomy and still be accepted by the church and God. They can’t, but this church lied and said they could.

          • Fundisi

            That is what I said Cory and if you go to the original article under “Read more stories,” you will see the very first comment was by me and I go into great depth to make that very point. We agree, we do not disagree.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            This is 100% true, what you write here.

    • Heather Clayton-Callaghan

      Yes, exactly !!!!

    • SFBruce

      Why do conservative Christians always compare homosexuality to things like pedophila and murder? Why not compare it to gossip, gluttony or sloth, which are also considered sinful, and like consensual acts between adults, gluttony and sloth have no victims?

      • Cory Stafford

        Because, homosexuality was considered heinous and destructive enough by God to deserve a mandatory death sentence whereas things like gossip were not.

        • jmichael39

          I have to disagree with you, Cory…the death sentence you talk about is so minor compared to the eternal death all unsaved sinners face, its pathetically unimportant.

          • James Grimes

            It seems that both of you are making valid points.

          • Bible Times

            It clearly states in 1 Cor 6:9, that those who practice it “will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
            “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice
            homosexuality, “

        • SFBruce

          The Bible calls for the death penalty for a lot of things: false prophecy, witchcraft, juvenile delinquency, among them. I believe you’re right that gossip doesn’t warrant that penalty; however, it’s interesting to note that gossip is condemned many times more than homosexuality.

      • jmichael39

        I have to agree with you on this one. Its like any other sin…and all should be repented of.

      • TheBBP

        I see the point that you are trying to make, but the Lord did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah over gossip.

        • Bible Times

          Lev 18:22 says “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

      • S_O_T_A

        He who sins sexually sins against his own body. Homosexuality is basically crossing the last line of truth – when your own body testifies against you, I have very little confidence in the ability of that person to respond to any other truth. Jesus affirmed male and female as complementary, and nothing else.

    • Terry Roll

      John 8:7 and Matthew 7:5. Give it a read right quick.

      • S_O_T_A

        Rev 2:2, Rev 2:20 Give it a read S_L_O_W_L_Y.

    • pax2u

      the Once Saved Always Saved believe that ALL future sins are forgiven once they are saved

      so they can be a child murdering, pedophile, homosexual and still be saved

    • Jack C. Hall Jr.

      You dont define Christian….u are the Devils worker….conjuring up hatred against Gods children. Ill pray for u.

      • Cory Stafford

        I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy of them wanting to practice their sodomy and still be a Christian. It is ridiculous and wrong.

    • DisqusBurner1983

      Or a Christian shellfish-eater. Or a Christian polyester-blend wearer. Or a Christian beard-haver. Or a Christian rape victim who didn’t marry her attacker.
      Come now, if we’re going to cherry-pick the Bible, let’s include the good parts too!

      • Cory Stafford

        Except none of those prohibitions were brought forward into the New Testament. Homosexuality, however, is clearly prohibited in both testaments.

        • ppp777

          It comes under moral law .

  • LITTLEBIT

    breaks my heart praying for GOD to win back his people

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com/ Jason Wert

    It’s nothing unusual for Nashville. There are churches that cater to the entertainment sector and so they will take a worldly view to pack the pews rather than focus on Jesus.

  • kramxe

    Quoting: “Full privileges … expectations … holiness … godliness ….” How can holiness and godliness be reconciled with the compromising of willing lifestyle behaviors that are contrary to God’s Word? I am a loss to explain. I wonder if anybody else can justify including these words into his statement.

    Full
    privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of
    faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill,
    and willingness. That is expected of all,” – See more at:
    http://christiannews.net/2015/02/02/professor-says-fear-of-man-not-god-led-megachurch-leader-to-accept-homosexual-members/#sthash.FgNEwSpy.dpuf
    Full
    privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of
    faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill,
    and willingness. That is expected of all,” – See more at:
    http://christiannews.net/2015/02/02/professor-says-fear-of-man-not-god-led-megachurch-leader-to-accept-homosexual-members/#sthash.FgNEwSpy.dpuf
    Full
    privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of
    faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill,
    and willingness. That is expected of all,” – See more at:
    http://christiannews.net/2015/02/02/professor-says-fear-of-man-not-god-led-megachurch-leader-to-accept-homosexual-members/#sthash.FgNEwSpy.dpuf

  • KCR

    NO one fears God, or HIS wrath in this world, and soon we will ALL understand that this is a BIG mistake. Fear God, fear his wrath, Love GOD and Love one another. Sinning is another way of telling God, I do not fear you. Judgement day is coming and all of our sins we will stand accountable for, but for the BLOOD of Christ, we would none be spared the wrath of God and Hell.

    • Fundisi

      Dear friend, while what you say is right, if you are saved now, you will not have to give account for your sins, Jesus already paid the full price for every one of them; and, when you fail, Jesus is always there to make intercession for you and keep you sanctified. Yes, the lost will face such judgment, but thank God the redeemed will not.

  • The Lone Ranger

    There are two ways you can go one is the God of heaven the light of the glorious gospel of Christ ,who is the image of God the only true God the other an imposter the god of this world. Open your eyes you can see which one is which if not your in trouble too
    2 Corinthians 4:4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Amen to this theology professor. This whole thing is not just fearing man but a denial of the Christian faith itself, because endorsing homosexuality is denying the existence of sin. Mitchell and his like-minded should be more honest and confess that they are not Christian. It’s the worst cult movement in the history of the Christendom.

  • http://aaglaas.blogspot.com/ aaglaas

    Many Christians today are guilty of being just like the Pharisees, using scripture as a weapon to persecute and reject others over how God created them and who they love, while ignoring every teaching and command that is inconvenient for them to follow. The following teachings that they ignore every day while thinking they are condemning those who disagree or who question their actions to hell, highlights their moral hypocrisy quite well.

    Matthew 5:43-48

    You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you only love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

    Romans 13:9

    For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    James 2:14-17

    What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

    1 Corinthians 13:1-2

    If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not show love to others, I am merely a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not show love to others, I am nothing.…

    Matthew 22:36-40

    “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second most important commandment is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

    Matthew 23-4

    “They (the Pharisees both ancient and modern) crush other people with unbearable religious demands and yet themselves never lift a finger to ease the burden.”

    Matthew 18:21-22

    “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven!”

    Matthew 23:13

    “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.”

    Matthew 23: 15

    “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!”

    1 Timothy 4:1-4

    “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.

    We can see that happening today from people whose consciences have been totally seared away, and who have no care or feeling whatsoever as to the spiritual and emotional pain and torment they cause gay people with their prejudice and rejection, many times to the point of suicide, or the teachings they spread that today are being used as justification to beat, imprison, and murder gay people in Uganda and many other places around the world. We can see such people today with unholy zeal attempting to forbid marriage to gay people as well, just as was prophesied while they reject instead of receiving with gratitude the unique way that God created gay people.

    It is truly horrific and goes against all teachings of Christ to Love and accept one another as God created us, but the demons are surely delighted by so much hatred, persecution, and murder engendered through their false and hateful teachings.

    • Gary

      God says homosexuality is sinful. YOU are a devil.

      • http://aaglaas.blogspot.com/ aaglaas

        How unfortunate… I see that the moderators here are not Godly or honest, and instead dishonestly disobey Christ’s teachings to the point that you do not even allow me to post one passage from the Bible.

        Shame on you, and on this dishonest site.

        • Gary

          Shame on me? For what? For pointing out that God condemns homosexuality and that you are contradicting His words? Go crawl back under your rock.

          • http://aaglaas.blogspot.com/ aaglaas

            No.. not shame on you, but on the people who block me now from even posting any passage from the Bible. The people contradicting God are people such as you with your ugly words of malice and hatred…. Nice ‘Christian’ words of love you use with the rock thing… not.

          • Gary

            I don’t love you. I oppose the lies you are telling. You are trying to justify evil, and that makes you evil.

          • http://aaglaas.blogspot.com/ aaglaas

            That’s obvious, which is why it is so glaringly clear that you are no true Christian, but only one who shouts out to the world that they are, while using Bible verses to justify your own innate malice and evil towards others.

          • pax2u

            Gary has decided that the Government should execute homosexuals and has started his list, as an anti Catholic he said that some Catholics will be added to his liquidation list

          • Gary

            More lies from the lying catholic punk.

          • pax2u

            Gary do you deny what you already posted?

          • pax2u

            Disqusdmnj Gary • 3 days ago

            Well, then, since normal Americans don’t believe homosexuality is a capital offense these days, who’s supposed to administer this capital punishment if not you?

            Gary Disqusdmnj • 3 days ago

            The government would do it, if it reverenced God. Since it does not, then the people who run the government will have to answer to God for what they have done, and failed to do.

          • pax2u

            pax2u Gary • an hour ago

            so you would be willing to execute homosexuals?

            Gary pax2u • an hour ago

            Yes.

          • pax2u

            pax2u Gary • 17 minutes ago

            so Gary would you add Catholics with homosexuals to your list of who to execute?

            Gary pax2u • a few seconds ago

            Not all of them.

          • The Last Trump

            Does Pax2u actually oppose his Lord and Savior and testify, here, before this online community that he supports the homosexual lifestyle and their right to marry? Does Pax2u actually tear out the pages of his Bible that call samesex relationships an abomination to God and does Pax2u call God a liar?

          • pax2u

            I support the Traditional Marriage of one man and one woman

            do you agree with Gary that the Government should execute homosexuals?

          • The Last Trump

            I don’t care about what anyone but God says. If you support the Bible’s position of traditional marriage between one man and one woman then why the hell wouldn’t you just say so? Going by your posts one would have to believe you support the LGBT agenda! You join these discussions on homosexuality and attack any “fellow” Christian who defends traditional marriage!!?? And say absolutely nothing to promote and defend traditional marriage in the face of constant attacks from homosexuals! Hello!! Chime in any time and get on record before Almighty God that you stand with Him and His Word. And you might want to lay off the Christians here who are faithful to Him. Otherwise, it will be plain to all on this forum and to Almighty God, just who it is you side with. Not supposed to be a mystery!

          • pax2u

            I just did, sorry if you do not understand that,

            do you want to execute homosexuals as Gary does?

            I do not support the execution of homosexuals, sorry

          • The Last Trump

            Sorry, I didn’t catch that waaaaay too vague and quick a response. Please explain the Bible’s position on homosexuality and the commandments God gave us concerning such behavior. Please be VERY specific. There’s a lot of confusion here. Thanks Pax.

          • pax2u

            do you support Gary’s belief that homosexuals should be executed by the Government, I do not, sorry, and I will not be a part of that,

            you may support Gary as he hates and lies about the Catholic Church,

          • pax2u

            any physical relations outside of the Traditional Marriage of one man and one woman is wrong and a sin

            any physical lust outside of the Traditional Marriage of one man and one woman is wrong and a sin, either by a heterosexual or homosexual

            The act is the sin, not the inclination of the person,

            I do not accept the idea of executing homosexuals,

          • The Last Trump

            Hear that Spoob? Pax knows it’s wrong too even though he’s done nothing but up vote your arguments the entire time. Guess he’s a little confused.

          • pax2u

            do you agree with Gary that homosexuals should be executed?

          • The Last Trump

            Where did Gary get that idea?

          • pax2u

            do you agree with Gary

          • The Last Trump

            Depends. Where did Gary get THAT idea?

          • pax2u

            do you want homosexuals to be executed?

          • The Last Trump

            I guess we’re done here. You reeeeaaally don’t want to say where Gary got THAT idea eh, Pax? And we both know why, don’t we. Chapter and verse.

          • pax2u

            so you are afraid to answer, I understand

            I am against those who hate others, and want them executed, that is why I forgive you, pity you, and will pray to my Christian God Jesus Christ, for your eternal soul, Jesus Christ of the New Testament and the New Covenant, amen

          • pax2u

            the lunatic fringe want to execute homosexuals,

          • Gary

            Leviticus 20:13

          • Gary

            Leviticus 20:13.

          • pax2u

            should those who eat North Carolina BBQ be executed?

          • Gary

            What penalty does God require for eating pork?

          • pax2u

            is it an Old Testament sin?

          • Gary

            You don’t know?

          • pax2u

            are all of those who eat North Carolina BBQ to be executed with the homosexuals?

          • Gary

            You can’t answer the question, can you?

          • pax2u

            I did not realize that all who eat North Carolina BBQ are homosexuals

          • pax2u

            do you follow ALL of the laws of the Old Testament?

          • pax2u

            maybe all who eat North Carolina BBQ are homosexuals, would that be a two for one for you to execute Gary?

          • Spoob

            Pax2u could give you lessons on how to be a Christian without being a hateful, oppressive jerk.

          • Gary

            If homosexuals were not condemned in the Bible, I would have no reason for considering them to be perverts. If you don’t like what the Bible says, then take it up with God.

  • happytheday

    Even though I agree with most what is said in this article I do take issue with this statement . “Are there any in the new Israel,
    the church, who will honor God? The Church is not the New Israel…
    Israel will always be Israel

  • electedbyHim

    This is no surprise. The Gods written word is clear that all this will happen. We are seeing everything come to pass that the Scriptures have foretold. It will get worse, much worse.

    Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.

    1Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons

    2 Timothy 3:1-5 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

  • Death defeater

    He is no real man of God just a another wolf faking to the world……Shame…

  • James Martin Nivea

    secularism, humanism, atheism, freethinkers, rational people, nonreligious people will reshape the future of america. everything will change and we will create a secular society which promotes equality, basic rights.

    • Gary

      In secularism, humanism, and atheism, what is the basis for thinking that rights exist, or that equality is a good thing?

  • James Martin Nivea

    i think we cant impose our religious morality to others since we all come from different walks of life. love is love. god is not love since he discriminates, promotes inequality. the idea of having a god is to tell others how you live your life.

  • S_O_T_A

    Anybody who says “LGBT inclusion is the beautiful byproduct of what we believe the gospel says.” does not know the gospel or Christ. Jesus affirmed ONLY male and female as the basis for sexual relationship based upon the creation ACT by God (not just His word – note that, but his ACTION evidenced in your own mother and father).

    If this church was right, then Jesus would be a liar, and God incompetent. Since neither is true, this church is completely wrong.

  • James Martin Nivea

    i think this kind of treatment has no place in a civilized world that we live in today. the view about homosexuality in the western world is changing because humanism, atheism, secularism,freethinkers, rational people, nonreligious people are reshaping the society. the good thing the US constitution is there to protect others from discrimination. we value human life more than anything else in this world. if we value gods we then discriminate other people from different religions and from different walks of life. since every religion is blasphemous to each other, people get confused who is the real one.

  • Jack C. Hall Jr.

    This professor….hmmm, any bets he’s had a d*ck in his mouth?

  • Bible Times

    The Bible clearly talks about Homosexuality
    1 Corinthians 6:9
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous
    will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the
    sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice
    homosexuality,

    Any christian leader who defies this cannot be a “christian leader”, you know he is for…

  • Bill731

    ” That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; ” —Ephesians 4:14 KJV

    As a pastor (v.11) it is his responsibility to see that this doesn’t happen to his Church but instead he is doing the exact opposite and even attempting to justify his heretical teaching by blasphemously calling it a ” divine wind.” The leadership there practices contemplative spirituality which is basically eastern mysticism dressed up as Christianity. They are feeding on the ” east wind ” (Job 15:2; Hosea 12:1) and they are feeding these lies to their flock as well.