Dr. Tommy Kelly, the new President of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, which is in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention, has issued A Statement by the SCBC President Regarding ‘Problematic Positions and Statements’ by NewSpring Church Pastor. discern.org has been covering the events that precipitated this statement.
Writing in the South Carolina Baptist Courier, Kelly states that, notwithstanding Noble’s apology, ‘his 2014 Christmas Eve message and his theological position in that message are evidence of continued problematic positions and statements that are inconsistent with the beliefs of South Carolina Baptists’.
Kelly goes on to exhort SCBC ministers ‘to treat their individual ministry settings as a sacred trust void of coarse, profane language as well as choosing music that is sacred in content’, to ‘engage in accountability groups’ that will ‘hold them to a higher standard morally, ethically and biblically’, and to renew ‘themselves to more sound exegetical study and expository preaching and teaching of God’s word’. Kelly’s exhortations go to the heart of problems exhibited by Perry Noble and NewSpring over many years.
Kelly further elaborates on the responsibility that all ‘church leaders’ have to ‘present well-thought and biblically based sermons and teaching that come from God’s infallible, inerrant Word and lead the lost to Christ’, before issuing a clear warning to NewSpring:
Therefore, we as South Carolina Baptists must publicly state and remove ourselves from these positions and problematic statements and call for NewSpring to correct these positions if it chooses to say that it affiliates with South Carolina Baptist churches.
35 thoughts on “President of South Carolina Baptist Convention calls for Perry Noble and NewSpring to correct ‘problematic positions and statements’”
There was a father who owned a large estate of farm land that divided his estate into separate fields to be managed by his sons while he was away. The father emphasized to his sons the value of the crops that grew good fruit that sustained their family’s future. He also pointed out the weeds that grow amongst the crops that do not contribute to their future. He gave his sons instructions to care for and make sure that all of the plants of the field received water and light, and the things that they needed to grow. He also taught them how to use fertilizer on the good plants to increase their output when applied carefully. But he warned them against trying to remove the weeds from the fields because they might damage some of the good crops in the process.
Once the Father was away, one of his sons was dedicated to the father’s instructions, and he focused on nurturing the fruitful crops and expanding the fruits that the would bear. His fields were expanding and bearing many fruit.
However, his brothers were lazy and thought that they knew better than their father’s instructions. So they started out by tearing down the plants that looked like weeds to them, thinking to themselves, “If the crops don’t have to compete with these weeds, they will grow better.” And then they saw that it was too difficult to always tell the difference, so they began tearing down any plants that weren’t obviously a fruit bearing plant – destroying both weeds and crops alike. Then, when they still saw how few fruit they had compared to their faithful brother, they began to say, “But he is including imperfect fruit. Our father is so wonderful that he should only receive fruit that is perfect and that meets our standards.” So they continued tearing down the crops from their own fields, only leaving the stalks that were obviously bearing fruit that looked beautiful on the outside. But even then, they weren’t applying fertilizer and nutrients that would make the inside of the fruit delicious and satisfying.
Since the one faithful brother was producing fruit both in great quantity, and whose taste and nourishment was undeniable because of the care and fertilizing and nourishment that he provided for his crops, and since any blemishes on the outside of the fruit were quickly ignored and dismissed when the delicious and satisfying nourishment of the inside was uncovered – this only served to make the other brothers hate him even more. So in their envy and hardened hearts, they watched closely, waiting for an opportunity to complain against the one brother.
They began to spread the word that the proper way to harvest and care for the crops was to tear down and destroy those crops that weren’t up to their father’s standards, and they tried to turn the opinions of the people against the faithful brother who provided for all of the plants and was following his father’s instructions. But even with all of their lobbying to try to convince others to be against their faithful brother, it was hard to argue against the quantity and quality of fruit that was being produced.
The faithful son was dedicated to improving the output of his fields, so he received a container from a trusted friend that was labeled in a foreign language. Misunderstanding the translation, he used it on some of his good crops, thinking that it was fertilizer. But he was shocked at the reaction of the plants, and he began to realize that he had mistaken a poison for fertilizer. He moved quickly to acknowledge his oversight, take responsibility, and make corrections to insure that it would not happen again.
But his envious brothers who did not care about his genuine love and care and dedication to the crops, and who did not care that he was following his father’s instructions, saw an opportunity to attack him openly in front of the people. They argued that this was proof that their way of tearing down did not put crops at risk of being accidentally poisoned. All the time, they were ignoring the lack of good fruit being produced from their own fields. But these envious brothers were more intent on the people believing and following their ways of harvesting as the right way, than they were interested in the quality or quantity of the fruit being harvested.
And when the Father returns, expecting to harvest the fields, gathering the fruit together, and casting the weed on the fire to be burned – who will he find favor with?
The faithful son that followed his instructions, caring for all of the plants, fertilizing and tending the garden, not destroying or tearing down the weeds because he was mindful that it might harm the good, fruit bearing crops?
Or the sons that have laid waste to his fields, destroying both good and bad, so they could have a few fruit that look beautiful on the outside, but are dead and rotten on the inside?
Mark 9:35-42 AMP
And He sat down and called the Twelve [apostles], and He said to them, If anyone desires to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all. And He took a little child and put him in the center of their group; and taking him in [His] arms, He said to them, Whoever in My name and for My sake accepts and receives and welcomes one such child also accepts and receives and welcomes Me; and whoever so receives Me receives not only Me but Him Who sent Me. John said to Him, Teacher, we saw a man who does not follow along with us driving out demons in Your name, and we forbade him to do it, because he is not one of our band [of Your disciples]. But Jesus said, Do not restrain or hinder or forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us. [Num. 11:27-29.] For I tell you truly, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to and bear the name of Christ will by no means fail to get his reward. And whoever causes one of these little ones (these believers) who acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin, it would be better (more profitable and wholesome) for him if a [huge] millstone were hung about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
“But Jesus said, Do not restrain or hinder or forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us.”
Harold, where did this story come from?
It is a parable sermon discussing both:
Matthew 13:24-30 NLT
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’
Mark 9:38-42 NLT
John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us. If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded. “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.
A few other scriptures that I think aren’t directly represented in the parable, but that are important to understand the perspective of the narrow path:
Luke 6:35-36 NLT
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
Luke 6:37-38 NLT
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. ”
Luke 6:43-45 NLT
“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
There is a right and good spirit, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ that produces these fruits in our words and actions:
Galatians 5:22-26 NLT
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
Our words reflect what is in our hearts:
1 John 4:20-21 NLT
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.
Yep, if we have Christ in us, we love all of those other messed up, imperfect believers who are struggling just like ourselves to run this race to the finish.
Last time I checked, NewSpring currently doesn’t have an “official” or “unofficial” relationship with the SCBC or the SBC. Money was loaned to the church from the SCBC for the purpose of church planting and building its first campus. This money was later repaid with interest, and the church later severed “official” ties with the organizations. Therefore, NewSpring is free to do as it pleases regardless of the disapproval of SCBC or SBC.
It pains me to write these words, because so many of my friends, who are true followers of Christ, and many of whom are further along in their walk than myself, go to this church and listen to this apostate preacher. But I can’t stay silent anymore. Noble is a false teacher, even if many in his flock are true believers. The position of the author of this piece is correct and should be adhered to in the name of spreading the true gospel.
So if this is meant to be church discipline, does it follow the Biblical guidelines for church discipline?
Matthew 18:15 tells us that Church Discipline starts on an individual level – direct and in private. Matthew 18:16 then tells us that the next step is to involve oNE or more witnesses and still approach in private. Only after that does it tell us in Matthew 18:17 to “bring it to the church”, to put it out there into the public domain. And that is only if the person refuses to repent. In this case, he had already acknowledged his error publicly, apologized, and showed repentance.
My concern is that I see a pattern of skipping steps one and two and jumping straight to step 3. This to me is not biblical church discipline and does not center on repentance, but focuses on an outward appearance of the right to exact judgement publicly. So if public judgement is loosed, I feel comfortable in responding with my own questions publicly about this situation.
If you say that this is not about church discipline, but is about a false prophet -scripture appears clear to me that a false spirit denies that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh – not that a mistake is worthy of public stoning.
And if this is about difference in application of scripture, I look to the verses that I mentioned from Mark 9.
I guess this open and public letter came across to me (and I would guess that it would come across to many young believers) as cold hearted towards someone that already apologized for a mistake. I also did not see a voice of love, mercy, or forgiveness in this letter – but it dripped of venom since it openly and publicly called out a specific person in ways that even business professionals would not normally behave towards each other when a colleague makes a mistake.
I guess that I see my Jesus as speaking in the voice of the fruits of the Holy Spirit –
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
And I see the Pharisees and the devil speaking in a voice of division, strife, accusation, and condemnation – so when I test the voice of this letter against the scriptures, it is concerning.
So can you help me understand how such an open and public letter like this one is:
1) fulfilling the biblical guidelines for correction/discipline
2) bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit
3) not slander, gossip, or in direct conflict with Mark 9
I love you and pray that we can find agreement.
There have been many people who have spoken privately with Perry Noble about his false teachings not just recently, but for the past 7+ years. I’m glad that something is finally being done.
Southern Baptist Convention
The messengers from missionary societies, churches, and other religious bodies of the Baptist denomination in various parts of the United States met in Augusta, Georgia, May 8, 1845, for the purpose of carrying into effect the benevolent intention of our constituents by organizing a plan for eliciting, combining, and directing the energies of the denomination for the propagation of the gospel and adopted rules and fundamental principles which, as amended from time to time, are as follows:
Article IV. Authority: While independent and sovereign in its own sphere, the Convention does not claim and will never attempt to exercise any authority over any other Baptist body, whether church, auxiliary organizations, associations, or convention.
Being the son of a Southern Baptist minister who served many times as an officer of the SCBC I remember in the early 1960s one Sunday afternoon around the dinner table (lunch now) Dad had the radio was playing and an Independent Baptist minister was preaching and said ” Well all the Southern Baptist preachers will be going to their Convention to get their orders and instructions for the year” Dad spoke to the radio and said “Harold, you know that’s not so”.
I have many fond memories of the Conventions as I was privileged to attend many of them with Dad and heard preachers such as R.G. Lee and many others. Like Lee in his famous sermon “Payday Someday” my Dad wasn’t afraid to tell someone if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savoir you’re going to Hell. That idea is not very popular in today’s churches. Which brings me to this, why do we feel it’s necessary to bash of a church which last year alone had over 11,000 people accept Christ as their Savior? Throughout history God has used many imperfect people such as murders, adulterer, fisherman, thieves, etc, to spread His Gospel. I wonder if President Kelly tried to meet with the pastor and discuss the matter one to one or did he choose to jump on the band wagon of popularity and spread it through the media. If it’s the later then that makes him imperfect also, like me and everyone else. However, I do believe God can still use us in His plans. One thing Dad always taught the devil will always mess with a church or a person that is focused on Jesus. I have found that sometimes the best tool he, the devil, has is Christians.
yes, yes and yes!
Tommy Kelly did attempt to contact Perry Noble to personally discuss the issue. His phone calls were never returned. These calls were made prior to the writing of this letter.
Well, first of all we have heard that line too many times. Here are the problems with it:
Matthew 18 does not apply to calling out false teachers. It applies to those who have sinned directly against us in some way as the context shows.
It does make sense to try to reach out to that teacher first, and that is what all discernment ministries have been doing. If I had a penny for every time I heard a discernment ministry say that they made every effort to contact a certain teacher but it was all in vain as they simply ignored the attempt. They avoid it on purpose and hide behind the guise of their “vip” status and things like that.
So, all preceding steps are done, if you contact them and they don’t reply, then you go public with it and warn the church and population of course, that is what we are called to do biblically. But I suppose they thought if no one heard back from them then everyone would just go back to their cabana and shut the door, never to be heard from again, as if it were some sort of deadlock. They miscalculated; we are not that foolish.
Thus, we continue to warn, as we will continue to do. For a list of biblical references, may I recommend to you a great article on the internet entitled “Is it Right: to judge, to expose error, and to name names…” by E.L. Bynum.
And to make it clear, I am in no way affiliated with New Spring, nor have I ever been to their church. But I am not blind to the way that some “Christians” enjoy an opportunity to tear down each other instead of building up.
I’m trying to understand, because if all of the law hangs on love –
Which is worse, for a man to speak a careless word in error but with good intentions? And then apologize publicly and for the world to see the love and mercy and forgiveness extended to him by Christians who expect to receive love and mercy and forgiveness themselves, and who preach it as the promise of God? Doesn’t the book tell us to forgive someone 70 times 7? Doesn’t the book tell us to forgive if we want to be forgiven?
Or for men to openly and publicly argue against each other, creating division within the body of Christ, not respecting others when they are in disagreement, tearing down instead of building up, etc?
I’m sure the church at Ephesus, the loveless church, thought they were justified and Godly too, but look at the warning that was for them if they did not repent.
Doesn’t sound like Jesus to me, regardless of whether the person was guilty. In fact, Christ stood by the accused woman and told them that he who is without sin should cast the first stone.
If hearts are hardened to not see the murder and destruction being done by their own hands, if a man does not have love and mercy and forgiveness for his fellow brother, which spirit is guiding? Is that man still veiled to the love of Christ?
I ask as an outsider looking in, as a Christ follower seeing this with no personal interest or agenda of my own. I know the fruits of the Holy Spirit and they are wonderful when I encounter them in a fellow believer, they are nourishing to my soul.
But I also know the stench of death, of religion that lacks relationship, of judgement and accusation and condemnation without love mercy and forgiveness, of attacks upon other men of flesh spoken carelessly and covered up using watchmen as an excuse.
Those places that have left their first love, who have forgotten grace, mercy, and forgiveness – and who have returned to the law as their idol. Doesn’t He make it clear that He desires mercy and not sacrifice? Doesn’t He say that their sacrifices are a stench to Him? Doesn’t He say that He wishes someone would close their doors forever?
The lack of genuine love today. It grieves me in my Spirit.
The eagerness and wickedness of those who tear at each other like wolves, it pains me. I cry out to God for their eyes to be opened to the destruction laying around them.
But I still forgive. I still love. I still pray. Because they know not what they are doing.
I love you, friend. I have faith that God will either redeem both sides of this, or that He will shut the doors and level the efforts of His enemies to the ground.
Judgement is coming, and our hearts will be weighed. Will they be found soft with love and filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Or will they be found hard, cold, and dead?
My hope is that everyone will find in this opportunities to grow closer to Christ, and that public displays like this will no longer push away others who love Christ and are seeking others who love Christ as well. Because He said that they will know other believers by the way that they love each other – not by the vigorous nature that they attack each other.
May His name be honored and glorified and lifted up by our words today and forever more.
Sir, I understand that you are not affiliated with New Spring Church, and I can see how people tearing down other Christians can come across as unloving. Before I tell you what Perry Noble has done I will say that I am a fellow sinner who Christ died for.
That being said, I want to show you several passages that talk about judging others.
The truth is we all judge others. By telling others not to judge you’re judging them for judging others. The idea behind this is to examine yourself and realize that you are also a sinner. Take the log out of your own eye before taking the speck out of your brother’s.
Even Jesus says in John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
We make right judgements when our motives are right and we correctly address the situation.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church he says this:
So again, pronouncing judgement isn’t wrong, rather, we’re called to judge rightly. This is so important for us as Christians to understand because we’re warned that wolves in sheep’s clothing will come into the church and turn many away from the truth.
We are commanded to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with great patience and teaching those who do not endure sound doctrine.
Now that we’ve established that we as Christians are called to make right judgements and to correct those who are in error in their beliefs about the Bible, I can now address Perry Noble.
We know that the Bible warns us about wolves in sheep’s clothing. Based upon Perry Noble’s false teachings, the way he abuses people in his church, and the fact that he’s ignored/mocked those who confront him, I can confidently say that he’s one of the wolves that Scripture warns us about.
I’ll only give you a few examples written out here, but if you want to know more about what he’s done then I recommend checking these out.
He has called people who want to know more about Scripture (go deeper in God’s Word) to be the jacka$$ in the church, he claims to have direct revelation from God even though his teachings contradict the Bible, and he is hateful/mocking towards those who contradict him or try to talk with him about what he’s doing wrong.
I want you to know that my wish for Perry Noble is for him to repent, to change his mind, and be forgiven. That’s it. The fact that he’s been called out after several years of him getting away with his false teachings is actually a blessing. This is a chance for him to admit his wrong doings and be forgiven. We should all be praying for him, along with every other false teacher who leads Christians astray with their false teachings. That is the loving thing to do. If we said nothing then we’d be ignoring God’s Word which tells us to do the tough thing and rebuke those who are teaching falsely about God’s Word. How can they repent and be forgiven if no one confronts them on their sin?
I hope this helps you understand the brevity of this situation. Please pray for Perry Noble and the congregants at New Spring.
Hello Arentorea, thank you for your helpful response. I have made minor formatting edits so that your comment is easier to read.
Thank you for doing that. :)
If you examine my posts, they are questions asking for explanation. At no time in my posts did I say outright that someone was false or wrong. I explained the voice that it sounded like and that I wanted to understand because it is hard for me to understand how it was not in conflict, especially with Mark 9.
I do not venture to judge men’s hearts, but I do ask questions when something appears to be amiss – both for my own sake of understanding the voice and comprehending their perspective, and for their sake in case they are unhealthy and either falling into legalism or lawlessness.
Here were your questions:
1) Perry Noble has been contacted both privately and publicly many times. I actually know people who have contacted him and he’s ignored their questions/turned around and mocked them publicly. Because he has failed to repent when confronted by two or more witnesses many times, Matthew 18:17 says, “And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” This means Perry Noble is no longer considered a brother in Christ. Because he has not repented for all the things he’s done, including teaching false doctrine, he falls under the category of heretic/false prophet. What does the Bible say about heretics and what we’re supposed to do with them? (If you re-read my second reply I quoted a lot of passages that told us to “rebuke, reprove, and exhort with complete patience and teaching,” (2 Timothy 4), and to “purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:13)
Here’s another passage that tells us how to deal with heretics:
2) Calling out Perry Noble for his sins publicly is keeping with the Holy Spirit because Perry Noble has proven himself to be a heretic. If we as Christians didn’t call him out publicly, then more people would be attending his church and be fed false doctrine, which sends people to Hell.
3) You asked two different questions here. You wanted to know how this public rebuke of Perry Noble would not slander or gossip, or be in direct conflict with Mark 9. Slandering/gossiping about someone has to do with murdering someone’s character. It would be wrong of me to tell everyone of a sin that my husband did, for example, especially if he was repentant and asked for forgiveness. It would not be slanderous of me to ask my parents for marital advice so my husband and I could work out our problems. That being said, this question is actually addressed in answer 1) because Perry Noble falls under the category of heretic, and the Bible is very clear on how we’re supposed to address heretics. Also, the Bible says that teachers of the Word will be judged harsher than those who are not:
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
After reading Mark 9 through, I’m wondering which passage you’re referring to here when you’re wondering if this public rebuke contradicts it. To be honest I’m not sure because Mark 9 isn’t talking about heretics. There are clearer passages of Scripture to refer to for this case.
I hope this helps you.
This is the part of Mark 9 that I was talking about:
Mark 9:38-42 NLT
John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us. If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded. “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck
The reason Jesus told his disciples not to stop the man who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name was because he had faith. If he didn’t have faith he wouldn’t be calling upon Jesus’ name to cast out demons.
Here’s a story recorded in Acts 19:11–20 that will help make this clear:
Those Jews had been masted by a possessed man because they didn’t have faith in Christ.
In Mark 9 notice how Jesus says, “But if you cause one of these little ones who trust in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.” How do we cause little ones to sin? By not preaching the Word to them. Faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins is how we’re saved.
Speaking about Jesus, He called out the Pharisees for their hypocrisy publicly.
Are there any more questions you have regarding this? I hope my answers are clear.
I love Matthew 23, but I wonder if we have differing perspectives on it? Because to me, the focus of this passage is those who have fallen into legalism – those that use the law as a way of outwardly presenting themselves as righteous, and as a way for them to declare judgements and accusations about the inner state of another person’s heart based on something that is outwardly visible.
Yes, I know what is outwardly visible as a sign of good or bad. Yes, I can know that evil that comes out of someone’s mouth is either a sign of their being lost or not yet perfected and stumbling. And yes, if I see continued rebellion in a sin that leads to death (enslaved to the flesh with no interest in repentance, hatred towards another), I can know they they are not alive with Christ in them.
But isn’t there a difference between noticing someone’s weaknesses and stumbling and praying for them, even holding out hope that it is a stumbling and praying for them, hoping for repentance – and publicly stoning a man for a mistake that is not willful or intentional, but is something that he is repentant about.
I guess my question is about fear of God. Do you who step up to publicly stone a man have no fear at all that you might be wetting in you judgement? If I am going to err, I am going to try my best to err on the side of mercy, because if Christ died to save us all and showed mercy to us all, I would rather follow that example.
How do you know for sure that you are being bold and not being prideful?
I see all of the examples in the Bible of people who probably thought they were being bold, but they fell into pride. Boldness in excess and praise God’s will leads to pride, and that is clear to me.
But if I am merciful and loving to my fellow man, and honor and encourage him, having mercy for the battle that he is fighting, but despising the enemy that tries to use ESV of us – if my enemy is not the flesh and blood man in front of me, but I see him as either lost, hurt, or deceived – he is to be pitied and encouraged and helped.
Even the man put out of the church by Paul’s urging in one letter is redeemed in his next letter as he tells them to go back to him, right? Isn’t the point not to kill or tear down our brothers, but to try and help them?
Or am I too hopeful when God says that it isn’t His will that even one would perish? And even though I know all will not be, shouldn’t that be my hope? Shouldn’t I be striving to save the lost sheep? Or at what point do we just wrote them off as lost, and throw rocks at them instead, hoping they might go away, so that we aren’t reminded that we have up on trying to save them?
I don’t share because I have it all figured out – I share because I’m eager to keep learning and growing. My hope is that others won’t just point and laugh if think that I’m wrong about something, but maybe they will help me understand their point of view as well.
I do understand what you’re saying. However, I do believe there is some disconnect which I will try to clear up. Here is what you said:
Calling someone out publicly on their sin is NOT the same as “publicly stoning a man for a mistake.” The Bible is very clear on how we’re to treat Christian brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a huge difference between someone who has sinned against a person or group of people and is repentant and someone who has been approached many times by many different people and refuses to repent.
I myself know several people who have tried to talk with Perry Noble privately only to be ignored and mocked about publicly by him. Because of his unloving actions and false doctrine, which he has been made aware of many many times over the past few years and still refuses to change, I can confidently call him in a wolf in sheep’s clothing because his unrepentant actions fall into the Biblical standards for a heretic. Many different passages of the Bible tell us Christians how to tell the difference between a heretic and a Christian brother and sister who needs help, and how to deal with heretics when they persist in their sin and unbelief. (I quoted many of the passages in my other responses.)
The purpose of this public calling is NOT to “stone him,” it’s to help him realize he is in sin so he repents and is forgiven. Jesus called out the Pharisees publicly because of their hypocrisy. They added laws where there were no laws and they claimed that by keeping THEIR laws, (not God’s 10 Commandments) that you could be saved/perfect in God’s eyes. Jesus called them out because they were leading others astray in their false teachings, for believing you could earn salvation by your own works meant you had no need to Jesus to die for you. If we could save ourselves, then Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins was completely pointless and a waste of time.
Here is where I urge you to listen to what Perry Noble has taught over the years. The reason is because this man is guilty of doing the same as the Pharisees. He twists the Bible to say things it doesn’t say, he mocks anyone who dare challenge him (even when Scripture itself is challenging him), he claims to have direct revelations from God (again, God is not a liar, so how come Perry Noble’s direct revelations contradict the Bible?), he adds laws where there are no laws (specifically in the area of tithing) and he is guilty of leading people astray from the Gospel. His message is to “do better” even though we’re not capable of saving ourselves. He takes people’s focus off of Christ is puts it on himself.
For us as Christians to ignore what he is doing or continue to let him get away with his shenanigans would be wrong of us, for the Bible commands us to confront people like this, to warn others of the false doctrines they teach, and to pray for them to repent and be forgiven. All of these are loving and merciful acts, for teachers are judged with a higher standard (James 3:1). What if Perry Noble died tomorrow in his sin? He would be judged for not trusting that Christ died for all his sins, and he would be judged for all the people he’s led astray. I don’t want him to burn in Hell for eternity. I want him to repent and be forgiven, and every Christian should want this as well.
I’m trying, I’m really trying to understand. And I’m trying to look past the, “Well, I only lashed at him because he lashed out at me, daddy.” excuse that I hear from my 4 year old when she wants to justify her actions. I guess for me, anothers’ actions should not control or dictate the amount of mercy and love that I extend.
Yes, there are situations where we need to walk away from someone if they won’t listen and if we cannot come to an agreement. And teaching the truth that you believe and supporting it with scripture is either going to prove your point or it is going to illustrate to the other person where you both are not in agreement about the voice/intent/application of scripture.
Since Christ told us that all the commandments and all the words of the prophets hang on loving God and loving each other, this is the test that I use as my scale for weighing opposing applications of scripture.
My understanding is that Grace is not a life of lawlessness without repentance, nor is it a life of using legalism to attack others – it is a means of receiving the Holy Spirit, of God’s spirit of Holy and divine love, into our hearts so that our hearts are softened, so that we are flowing with the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives – peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, long suffering, and self control – and the words that come out of our mouths should reflect what we say is in our heart.
So I’m less interested in here about what we each individually say started the fire and what caused some of the words to appear venomous – and I’m more interested in determining whether they are venous or shared in love. Because if we can examine ourselves and learn and grow in how we rightly divide and apply scripture, if we can see where our own words are healthy and pure or are careless and merciless – then we can know where we should focus our prayers for the healing touch of Christ in our hearts.
If we know the scriptures to an exacting level and we can quote scripture and attack others with the greatest of the Pharisees, scribes and hypocrites, but we do not have love – what good does it do us to gain the whole world but lose our souls?
So I’m not here on an attack mission, I’m here to learn, and to discuss in loving fellowship, and to pray for each other in those areas where our words betray the hardness within our hearts.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the impression I’m getting is that you believe calling someone out publicly = not loving.
The question isn’t what we feel about something, it’s what does God’s Word say on the subject? Always listen and compare what others are saying (myself included) with what the Bible says. The Bible tells us how discern a Christian brother or sister from a heretic and how to treat them depending on which category they fall into. This is decided based upon whether or not they’re willing to repent and be forgiven.
Perry Noble falls into the “Gentile and a tax collector” category because he refuses to repent for the sins he’s committed for the past several years even though he’s been approached many times by many different people both privately and publicly. What makes “Perry Noble a wolf in sheep’s clothing” is the fact that he’s twisting God’s Word to make it say things it doesn’t say. I’ll continue to urge you to listen and read for yourself the crimes this man has committed against others because it’ll help you understand how much help this man needs.
Scripture orders us as Christians to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching:”
Paul called out Peter publicly for acting hypocritically:
We are to silence those who teach falsely about God’s Word:
The Bible is very clear. I urge you to believe the texts that are here before you and the many others that are akin to them. God does not look favorably upon those who twist his Word and teach “for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.” Perry Noble and those like him who twist God’s Word and teach blasphemy will be judged harshly unless they repent and ask for forgiveness. It’s better for Perry Noble to repent and be forgiven while he’s still alive than for him to die in sin and unbelief and be judged for it and for the all the people he’s led astray.
I don’t take joy calling Perry Noble and others like him a heretic, but we must take a stand against people such as these because they make a mockery of Christianity and lead others away from the Gospel of Christ. This is a battle against Satan and his demons, not people. This is a battle to save souls from the fiery depths of Hell, and because Jesus warned us ahead of time that there would be false prophets claiming to be Christians (Matthew 7:15-23) we must be on our guard against them and warn others so they are not deceived.
Calling out people publicly who refuse to repent privately IS loving because the Bible commands us to do it. If it wasn’t loving, then the Bible wouldn’t tell us to do it. It’s that simple. Please take all of these Scripture readings to heart and trust that they are true.
You quoted Matthew 18, just as I have. My question is have you followed it? Have you personally gone to him privately between you and him alone? Or do we get to ignore what scripture says, add to it or subtract from it because we heard that someone else tried to and they were mocked or ignored?
Matthew 18:15 NLT
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.”
I’m trying to see your position, but it is difficult when it doesn’t appear that the scripture being quoted as a justification for one’s actions is being followed, just spoken.
Does that make sense?
I’m not adding or subtracting from Scripture, I’m simply quoting it. My emails to Perry Noble have been ignored, mine along with many others.
I copy/pasted one of the links I gave you concerning Perry Noble and one of the many things he has done to people who dare question his teachings:
“It was about three years ago that I first introduced Perry Noble and NewSpring Church on this blog. If you go back and read that WD post here, posted way back in December 2009, you’ll see it was concerning a blogger named Dr. James Duncan, who dared to criticize Perry Noble’s teachings and methods on his blog “Pajama Pages”.
What did Duncan get for his criticism? In 2009 Noble’s employees and volunteers smeared Duncan’s reputation by starting a phony Twitter account with gross and profane sexual posts attributed to Dr. Duncan, a fake resignation letter to his employer, and perhaps worst of all, sabatoge of Dr. Duncan’s adoption efforts in 2009. You can read all about these here.
Thankfully, Dr. Duncan fought back. It is not an easy process to fight a powerful church and pastor for the harm they have done to your reputation, but Dr. Duncan fought back by filing a lawsuit against Noble and NewSpring. Since December 2009, Dr. Duncan’s blog has been silent as he has fought the difficult legal battle.
I am happy to announce that Dr. Duncan did prevail in his lawsuit, as NewSpring and Noble settled with Dr. Duncan after months and months of depositions and legal discovery. Very likely all that came out of the discovery process would have been much too embarrassing to Noble and NewSpring in a public trial, so they decided to settle. But thankfully, it doesn’t stop there, as Dr. Duncan has decided to begin blogging again to tell his readers what he learned from the months of depositions that led to NewSpring settling the lawsuit.
I am going to follow and write about Dr. Duncan’s posts about the inside story of what was going on at NewSpring, and why these people at NewSpring did what they did to a very fine, Christian man. Dr. Duncan is a committed Christian, has a wonderful family, and is highly educated . He has a master’s and Ph.D. from Regent University, and is a professor and department chair in communications at Anderson University, yet he was vilified and persecuted by Noble’s sycophants because he dared to criticize the most prominent and powerful pastor in his community.
But there is much to be learned from this saga, and I will delve into it over the next few weeks as we learn more details from Dr. Duncan. This sort of thing, the demonization and persecution of church critics is a natural outflow from modern evangelicalism and fundamentalism which teaches pastors are special “God-appointed agents”, modern-day prophets sent by God to teach Christians how to live. This is what is taught in the seminaries, and it is what is preached from the pulpits. Thus, when a church critic arises, they aren’t just criticizing a man or an institution, they are attacking God himself.
Read the Perry Noble quote again at the top of this post – this is the view of many fundamentalists today. It is all black and white. Challenge or criticize a pastor, you’re doing the work of Satan. You’re probably demon possessed. You’re a jackass with no friends, a blogger in your mom’s basement eating Cheetos.
So WD readers, stay tuned for more analysis on this topic. And NewSpring members and employees and volunteers, please begin following Dr. Duncan’s blog so that you can learn in more detail what your church did to a fine man in your community – and what your tithes and offerings had to pay for to defend the lawsuit and to repair the damage that your church did to Dr. Duncan and his family.
Meanwhile, if you want to do some research on the Duncan/Noble saga, here are some links that will help you:
“Holy Rage at the Spring” – Dr. Duncan’s detailed account of what NewSpring did to him and his family – it is grotesque and disturbing, so be prepared.
“Shut Up, They Explained” – Dr. Duncan’s 2009 defense of his blog
“Perry Noble Says You’re a Jackass” – Apprising Ministry December 2009 summary
Duncan Interview by Chris Rosebrough – Chris Rosebrough interviewed Dr. Duncan in December 2009 on his Fighting for the Faith radio show.”
I understand that you are focusing on Perry Noble. But he is not here in this discussion. I have been talking about the voice of this article, the voice of the words shared in here. I love you and believe that you have good intentions. My questions have not been about intentions, but about application because it is clear to me that our seasons, callings, purposes, or inability to yield to the truth are not allowing us to come into agreement.
My focus has been the words at hand. Words have power. We are either speaking and reinforcing those good things, and being an example to others of how to do that – or or words are an example to others of evil. My concerns are when grumbling, division, and accusations against each other are the example that is put forward. These are the same actions the world takes against its enemies.
But we are called to love our enemies. We are called to turn the other cheek. We are called to forgive 70 times 7. We are called to be gentle and loving in our correction with the intent to restore, not to slander, smear, or publicly stone each other. We are called to have self control and not let another’s actions lead us into the temptation of anger, hate, strife, envy, dissention, and division. Instead of attacking other people, we are called to separate ourselves from those who refuse to listen to our concerns and our loving and gentle attempts to either lead them to repentance or come into agreement and understanding.
I love you friend, and even if this Perry Noble has hurt you and others deeply, he is not in this discussion right now. If he is doomed to hell, or if he is to be redeemed and saved by the grace of God – either way, will it have any bearing on how we are judged for our careless words, will it have any bearing on how our hearts are judged as either loving or hardened?
I have shared in loving gentleness. I have shared my application as best I can in this season and calling of mine. I do not know the state of your heart, neither do I know the state of the heart of this pastor at New Spring, nor his flock. But I do know the difference between loving and kind words and condemning words. I pray that we have just been iron sharpening iron, friend.
I can respect your zeal and your belief that what you are doing is right. I hope that you might be able to say the same for me as well. I love you, and feel that my concerns have been made clear.
You clearly are not going to yield and I am not here to do battle with you my friend, I’m here to share the Good News of you gospel of Jesus Christ, of God come in the flesh, to extend his grace to us who are unworthy by our own actions and words to earn our salvation, to live the blameless life of example that no man can perfectly repeat but that we all hope for as the goal we set or eyes upon, to die on a cross as the example of love and mercy and forgiveness that we stand in awe of, to extend extend his request to the Father that they that even persecuted and killed him be forgiven because they knew not what they were doing so that we might know the example of forgiving others, to offer us salvation and everlasting life and count our believe and our faithfulness as righteousness so that we can run this race to the finish.
I am not a teacher of the Word of God. I am a student of the Word of God. But my teacher walks with me, and He talks with me, and He shines a light at my feet so that I might see my next step. I am not bold enough to tell you what your next step is, friend – but I do know that I have shared love here. I do know that there was darkness and concern seen and voiced by many that read these words that also concerned me. So it is my hope that in some way, these words of ours might find a way of being honorable before the presence of God, and that His message, not our own, might be found and received by those that find themselves reading our dialog.
I love you, friend. If you would like to continue this discussion in private, my email address is myfirstname.my last name at Gmail dot com
Thank you for your love and concern. You are correct that we’re not coming to an agreement over calling out others publicly and whether or not that’s loving. Because of what Scripture says I believe it’s not only loving, but it’s the last resort to go to only after the unrepentant person refuses to listen to two or more and after he has proven himself to be a heretic. In Perry Noble’s case the time for the South Carolina Baptist Convention to call him out should have happened years ago, but I’m glad it’s happening now than never.
I will ask this: if you knew someone who said they were a Christian but went out and murdered people, what would you do? Would you try talking to him first (making precautions so you wouldn’t be in a situation where you could get murdered)? Would you report him to the police, which would lead to publicity about the incident on the news? Or would you say nothing at all? Let’s say you call this person on the phone and you try talking sense to them first. If they defend themselves both with you on the phone and with someone else on the phone, then what would you do?
I argue it would be loving to call the police because you don’t want this man to continue murdering others, so keeping him away from society would be the best thing. In fact, because it would make the news other people would be warned so they would know to keep away from this murderer so they and their loved ones would be safe in case this man persisted in sin rather than repenting.
The Bible instructs us on how to deal with brothers and sisters in Christ and how to deal with heretics. Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are truly repentant will ask for forgiveness and we are to forgive them as many times as is needed.
Heretics are those who not only refuse to repent, but they teach falsely about God’s Word. Sure heretics aren’t running around murdering people, per say, but what they’re doing is far worse, which is why we are called to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with great patience and understand. Heretics can murder you spiritually by taking away the Gospel from Christians and instead make them rely on themselves rather than Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of sins is the ONLY way to go to Heaven, and when Heretics preach their false doctrine they deceive and lead away others to Hell.
I cannot in good conscience ignore the Scriptures where it talks about how to deal with heretics. I must heed the Bible and take action as it commands because they are murdering others spiritually and leading themselves and others to Hell. That doesn’t mean I can’t be loving about it, but I must stand up for the truth, and I must make sure to examine myself and make sure my reasons are only out of concern and love and not for hate or revenge.
Thank you for taking the time to engage me in conversation. Unfortunately, I might not always have time to respond because I have other responsibilities I must meet. I’m a wife and mother, and I illustrate children’s books. Here’s my email address if you wish to talk to me more in private:
I urge you to listen to this program:
It’s very thought provoking and can be difficult at times to listen to, but everything Chris Rosebrough teaches is from the Bible, and that’s why I listen to him. Scripture is the governing authority and we must believe it because if we don’t we are truly lost.
I wish you a good day and God bless!
I serve a risen Savior
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.
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