Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Interview with a Crackpot

My Church is occasionally besieged by a variety of kooks, some more notorious than others, who are troubled by something my pastor said, or taught, or doesn't teach firm enough; or whom he fellowships with or doesn't fellowship with, or refuses to separate from.

Generally these assortment of nuts are lone crusaders, but sometimes there may be two or three. They may picket with ugly, hand made signs expressing their criticisms of why our Church or pastor offends them, but it seems as though all of them hand out literature allegedly "documenting" the "bad" teaching coming from the pulpit. Now mind you, I am not talking about small, little tracts, but detailed, term paper length screeds. Many of them are copiously footnoted with three or four citations in just one sentence. Bible verses are also piled upon each other to provide a "spiritual" foundation to why our pastor or Church is wrong. I just marvel at how they have the money to run off 500 copies of a 15 page document.

The last few Sundays, one of these self-appointed "watchmen" has been handing out a paper claiming among other things:
  • Grace Church has been infiltrated by the Church Growth philosophy
  • Our small group Bible studies are promoting Marxist ideology
  • The leaders of the various small groups use secret "buzz" words used to brainwash people to think in Marxist-Hegelian, Dialectic and Praxis terms
  • Folks in these small groups don't quote enough Bible verses when they interact with each other
  • Al Mohler is a U.N. agent who is secretly working to bring in the new world order and the reign of the Anti-Christ.
What a combination! The first 3 complaints are so unbelievable that it is fall to the ground laughable. The 4th is a matter of personal opinion and no where reflects the reality of our small groups at Grace. The complaint about Al Mohler being in league as an agent for the U.N. and a one world government truly intrigued me. I have met Christians bugged by Al's membership on the board of directors of Focus on the Family, as well as his connection with the Billy Graham Crusades, but I had yet to meet anyone who charged him as being a diabolical U.N. agent.

Apparently, according to the detailed research found in the literature I was handed, Al Mohler is a founding fellow for the For Faith and Family, a Southern Baptist ministry of the Ethics and Religious Liberty. The ERLC is on the list of the United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations. If you discerningly connect the dots (and I am sure there is a money trail to follow somewhere, too) it is clearly documented that Al Mohler is an agent for the U.N. Paige Patterson and Carl Henry are also founding fellows, so they must be agents as well.

I was so amazed by this protester's charges, as well as annoyed with his slander of some of my friends he names in his report, that I had to speak with him on a recent Sunday afternoon.

I quickly learned his name was Bob and he is from Rhode Island. He likes John's ministry, but has grave concerns over how the leadership is destroying John's ministry by bring it down with the use of church growth philosophy. The following is my interview with Bob as best as I can reconstruct it:

Me: I read your paper and I found it to be slanderous and absurd.

Bob: Really?! It thoroughly document and I name all my sources. Where do you think I am being absurd?

Me: Well, for one thing, you claim [my pastor friend] is involved with teaching church growth philosophy. I know him well - for at least 10 years or more and I know for a fact that is a lie.

Bob: Well, I attended the fellowship group he pastors and I can tell you with out a doubt it is saturated in church growth philosophy.

Me: How many times did you attend?

Bob: Once. But it was enough to see the church growth philosophy taking over.

Me: You were able to ascertain that with one visit?

Bob: Oh yes, and the small group Bible study is filled with dialectic teaching trying to get all the people to think the same way.

Me: You men like being unified in the faith like Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12 exhorts we should be as Christians?

Bob: Well.... It wasn't like that. They never even used Bible verses.

Me: Really? Just how many Bible verses is a Christian to use in his or her conversations during the day?

Bob: Well... They should at least open the Bible.

Me: So, are you telling me that this pastor is lying as to his true agenda of what he is all about?

Bob: Oh, sure he is. There's no doubt.

Me: But the Bible says a Christian is known for continual truthfulness. If this pastor is lying, that means he is intentionally deceiving the congregation as to who he is and is essentially an unbeliever. Are you saying this pastor is an unbeliever.?

Bob: I didn't want to go that far, but now that you mention it, perhaps he is.

Me: So tell me. Do you really think Al Mohler is a U.N. agent?

Bob: Oh yes, he is a false teacher who is trying to bring in the one world government. I fully document this in my paper. Just double check the links I provide. You will see this clearly.

Me: Oh, I am sure I will.

Bob: Hey you don't know anything about me, so don't have an attitude! Just check my research, it speaks for itself.

Me: Well Bob, are you of the opinion that the world will be under one government in the end times and that the anti-Christ will rule over the world from that government?

Bob: Oh, yes. That is what Revelation teaches.

Me: And do you believe the rapture of the church will take place before that government comes to power?

Bob: Oh, yes. That is what the Bible teaches.

Me: If that is the case, Bob, then would it not be better to work to hasten the day of the rapture, so if Al Mohler is working to create a one world government, we should be helping his cause. The faster the one world government gets into place, the quicker the Lord comes, right?

Bob: Some one else asked me that earlier.... it doesn't work that way.

Me: In your paper you claim the elders told you you could not ask Al Mohler any questions during the Shepherd's Conference, is that right?

Bob: Oh yes. All questions would be screened so they have something to hide.

Me: But you do realize Al Mohler walked all over the campus during the conference and anyone could approach him and ask him questions if they wanted, right?

Bob: Oh no, that is different. He needs to be asked publicly in front of all the attendees.

Me: Why?

Bob: Because, he needs to take account of his lies publicly.

Me: Why do you think no one else sees through Al Mohler but you and some other folks you list in your paper?

Bob: I guess they don't study; they don't want to see the truth.

Me: So you think all of those guys at the Shepherd's Conference were totally blinded to the truth of who Al is and what he stands for?

Bob: You said it, not me.

Me: Where do you attend Church, Bob?

Bob: To be honest, I haven't found a good congregation to worship with.

Me: Why am I not surprised?

Bob: Hey! If you can tell me were there is a good Church to join I would do it immediately!

Me: In your paper, you claim [local LA pastor] is one of the few pastors who is teaching the Word and telling it like it is against the church growth movement. Why don't you attend his church?

Bob: Because his Church is not in downtown L.A. I don't have transportation, so it has to be close enough to where I can get to it easily.

Me: But Bob, if you live in downtown L.A. how did you get here to Grace to hand out literature?

Bob: I took the bus.

Me: Why then can't you take a bus to this pastor's church? It can't be any longer to get there than it was to get here?

Bob: You know bud, I have answered your questions. You are falsely accusing me. Just read my research and see for yourself if what I am saying is true or not.

Maybe some of you readers out there would like to help me see the truth for myself. I must be such a spiritual dullard, that I have been blinded, or something.



Blogger ThirstyDavid said...

That's hilarious! I mean, how you're so blind to the truth, that is. Wake up, man!

3:49 PM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Phil Johnson said...

You've got me curious about which fellowship-group pastor at Grace Church he claims is teaching church growth methodology. You should e-mail me privately with the answer to that, to save me from hunting up one of the guy's flyers.

Unless it's me. If I've been found out, you might as well go ahead and post it.

4:45 PM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you for sharing that - it was, as David rightly points out - hilarious! I am just sorry I wasn't there to do the drum shots for all the tell-tale answers he gave to your questions:

"I took the bus" ... me: "bu-dum-bah!"

"Just check my research, it speaks for itself.
" ... me: "bu-dum-bah!"

you get the idea...

6:59 PM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger Peter D. Nelson said...

Fred you are with out a doubt the most patient man in the universe. I'm afraid that I would have stuffed that guy into a garbage can.

10:42 AM, May 20, 2006  
Blogger Ransom said...

If I hadn't met people like this firsthand - though none of them, to my knowledge, were protesting my church - I'd swear you were making this stuff up.

7:56 PM, May 20, 2006  
Blogger AuthenticTruth said...

Now you now the reason why you do not see the truth, is because you have been brainwashed through the Hegelian Dialectic methods intermingled with the subtle subliminal church growth messages that are cleverly hidden in MacArthur’s teaching! Man, you need prayer! Wake up and smell the coffee! But wait…even more serious is the fact that you are using those apostate Bible translations (see, you should have stuck with the KJV) and have been duped into following the Alexandrian Cult…It’ll do it every time!

Not bad for a conspiracy theory, huh? :)

7:04 AM, May 21, 2006  
Blogger Pickle Boy said...

Is this all somehow connected to Tom and Katie?

Just curious.

9:28 PM, May 21, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Stop by my room and you can have my copy.

Everyone else,
Believe me, I know it sounds amazing, but am not making this up. Apart from the fact I was a tad emotional with him (controlled, mind you) because of the out right lies against my friend's character, this pretty much reflects our conversation. I organized it a bit so it could flow together more smooth. He kept walking away from me to hand out his 11 page paper of documentation.

5:52 AM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger Greg Linscott said...

Wow. Just wow.

5:27 AM, May 23, 2006  
Blogger J.OTIS MERSTER said...

I always thought there was something fishy about that Al Mohler guy.

7:25 PM, May 28, 2006  
Blogger yoyo muffin said...

That man who was handing out his paper detailing that Grace Church has been infiltrated by the church growth movement was right. The Guild and The Foundry at Grace Church are both purpose Driven Ministries. In fact, Tom Patton, the pastor of the Guild was running such a blatantly purpose driven ministry that Grace Church removed him from that duty.

Al Mohler is also a false Christian, but it is par for the course for Macarthur to associate with false Christians.

3:35 AM, June 30, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Really YOYO, (an appropriate handle, by the way), can you document that claim against Tom Patton? If he was so blatantly purpose driven in his philosophy of ministry, why did Grace church place him as a pastor over an entirely different fellowship group? Why is he still around dealing with several of the key ministries at Grace? In fact, I see him in the office center every Sunday morning when I am picking up FOF materials.

Do you even know what you are talking about?

By the way, Bob has since gone off the deep-end, even accusing those individuals he was once in league with as also being Purpose Driven and driven by Hegalian philosophy.


5:52 AM, June 30, 2008  
Blogger yoyo muffin said...

Anyone who read Bob's excellent paper exposing Grace Church could plainly see that The Guild was a purpose driven ministry and obviously Tom Patton was on board with that agenda. It also can be implied that the Grace Church elders were approving of Patton's ministry. But when this ministry was exposed, do you think the elders would fire Patton? Of course they can't since he was following their directive. They just transferred Patton to another ministry.

I have checked the evidence on Mohler and found what Bob said to be all true.

You say that "Bob has since gone off the deep-end." What do you mean? As a truth seeker, isn't possible to come to the realization "that those you were once in league with" are now compromised in some way? Haven't you ever been in league with someone or something and then realized that they aren't who you thought they were and you then exposed them? That isn't unusual, if that be the case.

4:56 PM, June 30, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...


You still haven't documented your claims against Patton. All you have provided here is baseless speculation. I happened to work with two elders of Grace, and they laughingly suggest that you too are a crackpot. Do you understand the severity of your accusation against the elders of Grace? That they are basically all lying, which in turn would say they are unqualified from serving as elders if not unsaved. Do you really think that ALL the elders who are serving or have currently served within the last 3 years would all be in this conspiracy to cover up the Patton "initiative?"

By going off the deep end, I mean to say that Bob use to quote extensively from Robert Klenck and Dean Gotcher and was a regular caller/emailer to John Coleman's "ministry" program informing him of Grace's slide into apostasy. Bob now says that both Gotcher and Klenck, who fed Bob the whole Marxist-Helgalian nonsense, are both Marxist-Helgalian in their philosophy. He basically is saying the men who gave him these ideas are now heretical and soaked in these heresies. This is typical fair for individuals who are self-appointed "wall watchers" of Christian ministries.

You did read my follow up email exchange I had with Bob and posted on my blog, right? Can you answer the questions I gave to Bob?

Go HERE to read it.


5:40 PM, June 30, 2008  
Blogger yoyo muffin said...

It's true that I can't be certain that Patton was transferred out because his ministry was too blatantly purpose driven. That was speculation on my part.

However, I don't find it unbelievable, like you may, that there could be elders at Grace Church who approve of the church growth movement. Do you know that ALL of the Grace Church elders are true Christians? Of course you don't know that and neither do their own spouses. And I think that you would have to honestly agree with me on that point. We can certainly know who ISN'T a Christian, but I don't think we can be sure who is one.

I will read the questions you gave to Bob and perhaps answer them in another post.

You charged me with speculation. It sounds to me like speculation when you say that Bob is now saying that the men "who gave him these ideas are now heretical and soaked in these heresies." Has Bob written another paper denouncing these men he once embraced? Maybe something is wrong with these men that Bob has now become aware of. How do you know that Bob has "flipped" regarding his view of these men? Thanks for your time.

1:03 AM, July 01, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Thank you for admitting your error with Tom and him teaching the Guild.

As for the elders question. Certainly there is the possibility an elder could not be saved. I have known elders from Grace, as well as other churches, who fell into sin and left the faith, thus demonstrating they were not Christians. However, that is why there is a plurality of elders in order to keep each other accountable and act as safeguards with shepherding the flock. What you and Bob have suggested is that the entire elder board are stupid, undiscerning, and out right lying to the church. This is serious slander that cannot be dismissed easily.

As for Bob turning on his mentors, he apparently has been contacting churches around the country via email who are favorable to our church and MacArthur, warning them about how we here at Grace are sliding into church growth philosophy. These pastors obviously contact us at GTY and Grace to confirm if what Bob is saying is true. One pastor in MN, engaged in a short email exchange with Bob and in that exchange, Bob told the pastor that Dean Gotcher, who would be speaking at this pastor's church, was a closet Marxist who is secretly involved in the Hegalian stuff that he spends all his time allegedly exposing. He also named the Klenck fellow and Coleman.


5:33 AM, July 01, 2008  
Blogger yoyo muffin said...

I admitted that it was speculation on my part to say for certain that Patton was dismissed because of his blatant purpose driven ministry. I still fully believe, however, that The Guild was Purpose Driven under Patton because the evidence given shows this. Also, I am aware that The Guild website has been changed since Bob's expose.

Did it occur to you that if Bob says that Dean Gotcher and others are secretly involved in the Hegalian stuff they oppose, that he may be right in his judgment? That he says this doesn't mean he's gone off the deep end, it may mean that he has aquired more knowledge over time.

12:13 PM, July 01, 2008  
Blogger yoyo muffin said...

I know Bob's email and I think he should come on this blog to answer your comments here.

3:18 AM, July 02, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

You are more than welcome to ask Bob to come here and answer my questions, but I doubt he will show up. I know he saw this post when I first put it up and he is yet to respond to it.

I am going to turn off the comments with this post. If he is so inclined to comment, he can do it under my second one addressing his issues I have linked above. Or, have him contact me through my email linked on my bio page.


5:12 AM, July 02, 2008  

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