Planetshakers Insider

Musings on Life, the Christian Journey and being a part of Planetshakers City Church

Posts Tagged ‘Planetshakers

Planetshakers’ Beautiful Woman Woman?

with 60 comments

I don’t know what more to say about this…

Planetshakers Blog Hiatus…

with 56 comments

Firstly, thank-you to Mice, Amanda, assembliesofwhat, Grace, theoriginalmattyc, Jason Van Haaster, Grant and all of the others (there are so many of you!) who had positive and thoughtful input on and off this blog.

Your comments were the reason I kept the blog running, and I eagerly looked forward to hearing what you had to say.

Obviously I haven’t been blogging much lately.

The bible talks about guarding your heart…

At my heart, I’m an optimist. I see the positive potential for change. But there were always a handful of bad apples in the bunch – at Planetshakers itself, and visiting this blog.

For these people, change is looked at with skepticism.

Their “Christian” beliefs are so shaky that questioning is met with an almost hostility – almost to a point where they would say “God made it this way, so shut up and deal with it or go find somewhere else.”

The negativity gets to me…

I put church aside for a while…

And I put this blog aside for a while.

I haven’t attended Planetshakers, or any church, in months. And to be honest, the last few months have been some of the best months of my life.

I haven’t worried – worried faith, God, heaven, hell, purpose, direction, sin, worship, life, whatever – I have more confidence – I have purpose – I’m more fulfilled – I’m more successful at work (even being sent overseas to a $8,200 conference) – I have a better relationship with my girlfriend, my immediate family – and so much more.

I’m far away from God – but never felt closer to his promises of peace, wisdom and purpose.

Christians often talk about “filling a hole with Jesus” – that the hole is Jesus-shaped. For me, it was like I was trying to cram Jesus in there.

After years of a desperate search, perhaps he doesn’t want to be found. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places. Nobody has been able to tell me yet. I think most haven’t found them, or have fooled themselves that they have him found when what they have found is something inside themselves.

I may continue to search for the true and real God again.

I may continue to blog again.

I don’t know.

But in the mean-time, I wish you peace, happiness, success and fulfilment – however it arrives.

~P.S.I.

Open Letter to ACC National Executive

with 29 comments

An articulate letter was forwarded to me today via email (planetshakersinsider [at] gmail dot com)

It was described as an open letter to the ACC National Executive [AOG Australia’s top leadership], and was attributed to young pentecostal worship leader Ben Manusama (of Manifest Youth) – If someone can find the original source, I’d appreciate it – I couldn’t find it myself.

It clearly articulates some key points that have also been raised about Planetshakers leadership on this blog, as well as the wider pentecostal leadership in Australia and worldwide elsewhere in the light of Mike Guglielmucci’s fall, as well as the fall of Todd Bentley.

To the members of the National Executive,

I’m writing to you in response to the events of the last week regarding the confession of Mike Guglielmucci. I write as a young person directly impacted by his actions and wish to present for discussion a number of issues it has raised within the community of young people in the ACC.

To begin with, my church was quite removed from Mike’s ministry – I had only met him for the first time when he spoke at our youth meeting a few weeks ago. I say this with the hope that you can see the objectivity of my observations as I had no emotional attachment to the man or his ministry.

As I’m sure you’re aware, everyone’s talking, everyone’s speculating, everyone’s processing and trying to come to terms with what has happened and what the consequences are.

I don’t presume to speak on behalf of anyone other than myself but after posting a respectful blog containing some of my initial observations, I’ve had quite an overwhelming response of people who have read it. Some enthusiastically agreeing, some confused, some still undecided. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you there are many profoundly affected young people and they’re not all directly connected to him or his ministry (as you might assume).

I have grown up in the Pentecostal movement with parents whose itinerant ministry saw me and my family visiting churches all over the nation. I’ve been able to observe the changes of culture within our own movement and our observations have always been grounded in our family’s core values and passion for the Body of Christ.

This now is my assessment of these recent events.

What Mike has done is catastrophic not only in the geographical reach of the scandal but also because it has struck at the foundation of much of the methodology of our movement.

The questions being asked are not only about how a man ‘falls from grace’ but people are asking what this says about ministry, the Holy Spirit, human character and the capacity for a regenerated man to commit such wickedness.

The actions and official statements made thus far by the ACC and the Guglielmucci family seem to be dealing with some of these issues although that will need to be an ongoing process (certainly in a church-by-church fashion).

My concern is that the conversation will only go so far – that the issues surrounding ‘the man’ (which must certainly be addressed) will be resolved but that there will be no engagement with the broader problem.

Is it too simplistic to view this as just another case of a man ‘falling from grace’? I think to leave it at that is not only simplistic but negligent.

A person like Mike Guglielmucci is not born but created.

I say this not to negate Mike’s responsibility or guilt for his actions but to draw our attention to how the culture of the contemporary Pentecostal church has allowed and accommodated for somebody like Mike to thrive.

WHAT IS THIS CULTURE?

One of the strengths of Pentecostalism has always been its ability to become culturally relevant to all peoples – and particularly young people. This is seen in our ever evolving forms of communication, media, music and the content and delivery of our message. These things are important when they are the natural side effect of being creative human beings in a changing world, however when they become the mechanism by which we build the church there are dangerous consequences.

What began as a move to bring the church out of the dark ages and into the realm of popular culture has had devastating side effects: Praise and worship has become a music industry (complete with it’s very own rock stars), preaching has become motivational speaking (with little expectation to know or engage with the text) and ministry has become a desirable and lucrative career choice.

Against this background, the value system of church seems to have changed.

I came across an article by an American minister named Dutch Sheets. I am unfamiliar with his ministry but his response to the events surrounding Todd Bentley seem all too appropriate to our situation.

The following is a quote from him:

“We, the leaders of the charismatic church, have built on hype, sensation, innovation, programs, personality and charisma. This has produced: shallowness; false movements; novice leaders— gifted but immature and untested; a deficient understanding of God’s word; the building of man-centered rather than kingdom- centered churches and ministries; competition rather than cooperation; humanistic, self-centered Christians who don’t understand sacrifice and commitment; Christians without discernment; superstar leaders; a perverted and powerless gospel; prayerless and anemic Christians; a replacement of the fear of the Lord with the fear of man; and a young generation that is cynical of it all.”

As a young person in our movement I honestly believe that this almost summarizes the state of our predicament.

I look around and see so many insecure church leaders who are too eager to jump on trends and exploit new talent and ideas as a way to keep up with the Joneses/Houstons.

It is within this environment that a talented, charismatic, gifted, articulate, charming, yet-untested, son of a well respected preacher managed to not only slip through the process of accountability but then exploited the system to get to the top.

Our movement that seems to have become so obsessed with a man’s talent, gifting and ability to draw a crowd was the perfect environment for such a man to exploit. No matter what Mike’s motivations, regardless of the driving force behind his actions (whether he was psychologically sound or not), he has demonstrated that there is a ladder to be climbed and it can be done apparently with no help from the Holy Spirit.

Worse still, not only did he make a complete mockery of Pentecostal rhetoric but he was ultimately endorsed by the leaders of our denomination – which is you guys.

Even at the end there were churches (including my own) who were unsure about his ministry but finally accepted based on the endorsement from the national executive.

QUESTIONS.

In closing there are some burning questions and challenges I would like to put forward.

1) For a denomination that is supposed to be led by the Holy Spirit instantly one asks where was the discernment of our leaders? Is it too much to expect that our spiritual fathers and shepherds will be led by the Spirit to protect their flock? Granted everyone’s saying that he hid this from his own wife and family but surely God would try to forewarn and thus prevent such a catastrophic deception that has ruined so many lives.

2) What system of accountability allows such a man to get so far? Amidst the excitement over his ministry and his ability to draw a crowd – was there anybody in his life to challenge his behaviour? And if so, if someone actually knew even in part about his struggles, why were measures not taken to limit his reach of influence until those struggles were resolved? Surely some of the reports coming out about his methods as youth pastor at Planetshakers City Church should have raised a red flag. Was everyone too quick to celebrate his role in growing the church, and too hesitant to question or check a rising star?

3) Who takes responsibility? In the official statements released so far – no one has taken ownership. Words like ‘illness’ and ‘professional help’ deflect attention from the real underlying cultural problems and the role played by leadership in allowing this to happen. What’s to prevent another Mike Guglielmucci from happening?
It just seems like it would be too easy for somebody else to come through and exploit it all over again.

I don’t think it’s enough for our leaders to say they don’t condone what has been done – this whilst separating themselves from ‘the man’ does not acknowledge their role in the greater problem. Nor is it enough for them to say they had no idea what was going on – that they didn’t know. It was your job to know (surely even just on a practical level regardless of your theology).

Just as a father is responsible for what happens to his kids, aren’t you in some way responsible for what happens to our generation?

The statement from Dutch Sheets in regard to the Lakeland scandal is, I feel, an inspiring example of leadership being transparent and taking responsibility (www.dutchsheets.org).

My concern is that the next few weeks will be about damage control and no discussion or admission of the greater underlying issues.

We don’t expect for you guys to be perfect but we expect honesty and openness. Perhaps if our leaders were willing to be transparent about their weaknesses, we would be less inclined to hide ours.

4) What are you going to do to change it?

__________
There’s a multitude of young people looking to you now. We’re hurt, confused, bleeding and angry.

You’ve spoken to us at meetings, conferences, youth alive retreats and through DVDs. Speak now.

You’re always so quick to let us know you’re leading us.

So lead.

I agree wholeheartedly with Ben Manusama’s sentiments.

While I’ve said previously that I believe Manifest had their heart in the right place, I would encourage Ben Manusama and others at Manifest to also reflect on their actions placing Mike Guglielmucci on stage when they did. Perhaps they were complicit of some of the same failings?

However, I also believe that the questions Ben Manusama asks are apt, and deserve to be answered – by the AOG National Executive, Planetshakers, Hillsong and even Manifest:

1) What happened to the discernment of leaders?
2) How did the lie slip through any accountability, and get so far?
3) Who will stand up and take responsibility?
4) What will happen to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

All reasonable and fair-minded questions.

Planetshakers Beautiful Woman Video Removed

with 19 comments

After it was embedded in a recent post here, Planetshakers has disabled embedding for the Planetshakers Beautiful Woman 2009 trailer video.

This means I can no longer show this video on my blog – and ONLY this video is disabled (no other Planetshakers videos were disabled) – and it was ONLY after the video was shown here.

An alternative link to the video can be found here.

Planetshakers Beautiful Woman 2009 Conference

with 32 comments

I’m still struggling to find my thoughts on this Planetshakers ad for the 2009 Beautiful Woman conference at Planetshakers City Church.

Initially, I found it bizarre and somewhat shocking… And now I’m just asking questions 😉

Where are the non-slim, non-blonde, non-white, “Beautiful Women”?

What is the message of the Planetshakers 2009 Beautiful Woman conference?

Is this worshipful to God, idolatry to [wo]man, or is there a message I’m missing?

Is it promoting the inward beauty that Matthew 5:5 talks about (the first line of the advert)? Or is it promoting outward beauty?

I’m told a prominent Planetshakers Pastor responded by saying “It was just marketing – [prominent women’s brand] do it – why shouldn’t the church?”

Should the church set itself apart from the world in marketing? Or does it need to market better in order to save souls?

Characteristics of Leaders: Do Planetshakers Leaders Shape Up?

with 19 comments

“The Doctor” posts on the characteristics of a good Church leader…

In terms of character requirements, I want to post some key commnents from the objective source of truth – God’s Word rather than subjective opinion. Let’s consider what is stated in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 …..

Elders are to be
– blameless (they have to have a good reputation within and without the church – impeachable, above reproach)
– the husband of one wife (exhibits demonstrable faithfulness in all aspects of his life)
– temperate, self-controlled (not given to excessive behaviour, fits of rage or moodiness but moderate in life)
– sober-minded (treats his responsibility to God and men seriously – not flipant)
– just (they live right)
– holy (pure in their life before God and man – careful of what they watch and read)
– demonstrate good behavior not unruly
– hospitable (share what they have, not clicky but welcoming to all especially those in God’s house)
– able to teach (given to the study and understanding of the Word of God)
– knowing and adhering to sound doctrine (disciplined to understand the teachings of the church)
– an exhorter and encourager
– not given to wine (not excessive in their lifestyle)
– not violent or quick tempered (not a wife beater or an unruly member)
– not greedy for money, and not covetous (content with few possessions)
– not self-willed (puts the kingdom of God first, teachable not a know it all)
– a lover of what is good
– gentle, not quarrelsome (able to instruct others lovingly, not a dictator – flow or go!)
– rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (someone with a track record of keeping a disciplined house – not this does not imply severe or austere)
– have a good testimony of those outside the church (not just shining before those who can promote buit consistent in their life and lifestyle).

As you can see these characteristics are a challenge to most who profess to know Christ. We should not appoint just to fill positions because they are vacant or because of a need – it needs to be Gods appointment that will be evident to those who know the individual.

Many evangelical churches will go through the above characteristics with an individual before they appoint. They also ask the congregation to put forward objections if they are concerned about inconsistencies in a candidates behaviour. God gives gifts to the church – but elders are to be scritinised before appointment and for consistency after appointment.

Remember that the Apostle Paul commened the Bereans because they searched the scripture to make sure what he taught them was true. Paul delighted in this type of behaviour. It is frightening to think that we could have modern church leaders who encourage a swallow and follow unity amonst the church – this sort of behaviour has no basis in scripture.

What are your thoughts?

Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 15, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Mike Guglielmucci Questions Answered

with 12 comments

“Moses” posted some questions about Mike Guglielmucci – some had been answered previously…

According to MikeG confession, he has been addicted to porn since the age of 12. How did he get access to it? Who introduced MikeG to it? Family members? School friends? Church Friends?

School friends – at their houses, after school apparently – according to Danny Guglielmucci (Mike’s father)

AOG prides itself being an Apostolic and Prophetic fellowship, How did MikeG’s Father Danny, Russell Evans, Brian Houston and AOG State and National Executive miss this? Are they really being led by the Spirit? God will not hide anything from His servants the prophets.

I have the same question…

Alun Davies (head of AOG in Australia) said to the media:

“We don’t know why or how this could happen… we are victims like anyone else”

Russell Evans said repeatedly:

“None of us knew – not even his [wife/family]” and distanced Ps Mike’s actions from Planetshakers, saying that he left Planetshakers 18 months ago (still, the cancer lie began 22 months ago… hrmm).

Where’s the accountability?

Usually these men move in prophetic utterance, What did go wrong?

What happened to the gift of discernment?

I don’t know – but I believe they need to be answerable/accountable to this too.

How come Amanda or Danny didn’t go with MikeG to the doctors with MikeG? If I was this sick my wife will not leave my side. Very strange relationship. May be to busy serving the people not God.

Apparently he was very private about his treatment.

One man who claimed to be the father of two men who were friends of Ps Mike Guglielmucci, and who had taken him to doctors, claimed that Ps Mike had gone into doctors surgeries, waited in the waiting room (with his friends outside) before coming back to the car.

According to Ps Danny Guglielmucci, nobody questioned Mike Guglielmucci’s diagnosis because he manifested physical symptoms.

Bible says Train up your child in the ways of the Lord, so that he or she will not depart from it when they are old. I personally believe somehow MikeG did not receive this training at home when he was young. His parents might have been too busy ministering to others not God and they fail to discern his problem.

Similarly, what happened in the 16 years after the porn addiction began?

Was there a pastoral care structure in place for Mike? Was he held accountable to a trusted mentor or elder? What accountability was he under as a leader? Did anybody ask him about his sins or addictions? How was he lifted up to leadership without this kind of accountability?

Understandably, there was so much shame around the pornography addiction that he felt he couldn’t confess – are we, as Christians, so caught up in how bad sexual sins are that we fail to provide people who suffer from these sins with a “safe place to run to”?

Surely the questions have to be asked: “Why wasn’t Mike Guglielmucci able to confess at any time during his 16 year addiction? Why was it easier for him to fake cancer and suffer alone than receive the support of others in the church? What should the church be doing differently / better to ensure that others don’t face similar problems in the future?”

When you minister to God not man God will reveal to His children any evil that is going to happen to them. Psalm 91. I am a Pastor I know what I am talking about.

We need to keep our house in order before we reach out other people.

Ministry is not empire building, it is kingdom (of God) building. It is ministry unto the Lord.

God Bless

To save you looking it up, Psalm 91 reads:

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Planetshakers, and Why We Should Shake-Off Bad Beliefs

with 40 comments

I had someone who didn’t leave their name, but is apparently a Planetshakers member, ask a question recently:

…do you truly believe that this blog contributes any value to the church? If so how?

By asking questions; by being public and open; by engaging people, and getting people to think deeper; by questioning beliefs so that beliefs that are wrong or mistaken can be shed, and beliefs that are correct and stand up to questioning can be strengthened.

All protestant churches (non-Roman-Catholic churches – including Pentecostal churches like Planetshakers) came out of the Reformation – and began with Martin Luther.

The catalyst for the reformation was Martin Luther’s “Ninety-Five Theses” – which he nailed to the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Saxony (modern-day Germany).

These were 95 points for debate that criticized the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope.

The “Theses” included points criticizing practice of selling “indulgences” – the Roman Catholic Church at the time was making people PAY MONEY in order to be forgiven of their sins, and be sanctified in order to gain God’s favor and get into heaven.

You know it’s wrong, I know it’s wrong – but the average person at that time knew no better.

At the time, the Bible was written in Greek – (Martin Luther himself was responsible for the first translation into the “common man’s language”, which put the bible in everyone’s reach). So the church was able to get away with practically anything

Martin Luther, because he understood and was able to interpret the bible, and wasn’t willing to accept a bastardized version of God’s message – a version that benefited the Church financially, but was wrong biblically – so he spoke up.

His work began the reformation – and the reformation saw the Bible being translated into common languages worldwide (including the King James Version in England – which we still use today), it saw some of the greatest Christian philosophers in history (including Calvin and Luther himself), eventually led to most non-Roman-Catholic church movements (Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Revivalist, etc), and saw the church come much closer to the ideals described in the Bible.

This was one of the most influential turning points in world history, let alone Christendom.

And it came because someone spoke up when they saw something was wrong.

People accused Martin Luther of bringing about “disunity” and “dissent” – they made him an outlaw, banned his work, and called him a heretic – someone who was “of the devil”.

And in many ways he did create disunity and dissent – but he also spoke the truth.. And as a result, he did God’s work.

You see, God doesn’t call us to blind unity, for the sake of unity in the body of Christ.

Take Jesus’ example – when he came across the money-changers and herders in the temple, he angrily made a whip of cords, drove out the animals, violently turned over the tables strewing the money all over the ground…

“Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Jesus acted when he saw wrong.

Martin Luther did the same.

I’m far from anything that Jesus is, and I’m no Martin Luther either – I’m just a human, and I sin as much as the next one.

But I see things that are wrong – and I speak out too.

Just like every Christian should.

Certainly I don’t act as violently as Jesus acted, and certainly not as loudly or as controversially as Martin Luther – but I speak out and act nonetheless.

Is it wrong that I should speak?

Just as one example – In the Bible, Paul writes (in 1 Cor. 14:27-28):

27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.

So is it wrong if I were to question whether or not we are justified in God when Senior Pastor Sam Evans speaks in tongues at the end of worship at Planetshakers (with no interpretation), and encourages others to join in?

Is it wrong that I question Planetshakers for claiming they had nothing to do with Mike Guglielmucci for the past 18 months, and distancing themselves from him, when it was clear that his cancer lie started while he was at Planetshakers 22 months prior?

Is it wrong that I look around and see hurting people and people with weak faith, and question what pastoral care these people receive when their small-group leaders aren’t skilled enough to help, don’t recognize the problem, or are too busy to do anything?

Is it wrong to wonder why people cheer loudly when a preacher is “on a roll” in his sermon, or when a superstar preacher’s name is flashed on the giant screens – and wonder whether people’s focus is on Jesus or the Church? And similarly, wonder whether the church is focussed more on growth, or building deep relationships between churchgoers and Jesus?

Planetshakers is a good church – but Planetshakers is not the way, the truth and the life – Jesus is.

So when the church falls short (like we all do) – who questions?

Or are we so blindly following Planetshakers that we forget to follow Jesus?

The most frustrating part is how blindly people will follow – without questioning anything at all.

In fact, some people are willing to go to any extreme – just so long as you don’t disagree, have a different opinion, or question a belief.

  • I can live with people hating me;
  • I can live with people calling me every name they can think of (which is part of the reason why I’m now moderating slanderous posts so heavily);
  • I can live with people signing my email address up to spam email services (it’s started happening lately – I got the opt-in messages to prove it);
  • I can live with people trying to hack into my email account to stop this blog (it’s happened 8 times so far – I’ve got the password reset messages to prove it);
  • I can live with people trying to silence this blog by trying to gain access into the admin panel (it’s happened 5 times so far – again, got the password reset messages…);

But why would a Christian do any of this, instead of just speaking the truth?

I assume that these people are Christians if they are offended by what I might say – but whoever they are, why would they choose to act out of hatred or malice, and want to be slanderous and hurtful and attack me rather than simply disproving me – if I am so obviously wrong in what I might write.

But the surprising (and at times frustrating) part for me is how little some christians seem to want to do anything – just so long as they don’t have to think for themselves.

Even when something is so opposed, so contradictory to what is in the Bible – when the shepherd might be leading them astray – they seem to simply follow.

For unity, perhaps.

  • Perhaps I’m dealing with deep-ingrained and evil spiritual forces that are much greater than me and this blog.
  • Perhaps I’m just encountering Christian zealots who believe what I’m doing is wrong – but don’t have the biblical knowledge to potentially see where I might be right, or if I’m wrong to disprove me.
  • Perhaps they believe that if I’m wrong and evil, acting against me in any way is justified – even if the action they take might be sinful itself.
  • Perhaps their faith is weak, and rather than building their faith on the rock (Jesus) they have built it in Planetshakers – so anything that questions Planetshakers also questions (and shakes) their faith.
  • Perhaps I’m missing something.

I don’t know.

I don’t know what good this blog will do – but surely any sense of accountability, debate, and questioning beliefs in order to find the truth is a good thing, because it means we’re vigilant – and if we’re vigilant (as the Bible says) we avoid being led astray, and we avoid trouble from our enemies.

Surely our faith is strong enough for us to ask questions.

Surely our faith is strong enough that we’re willing to be vigilant, rather than blindly follow a church because… well, just because.

As I said at the start of this post…

Asking questions; being public and open; engaging people, getting people to think deeper; questioning beliefs so that beliefs that are wrong or mistaken can be shed, and beliefs that are correct and stand up to questioning can be strengthened – surely this is good, and not bad.

Can You Imagine Singing a Hymn about Pornography?

with 9 comments

Nate Davis, Worship Pastor of Mosaic Church, has some insightful comments re: Mike Guglielmucci:

Satan has completely succeeded in the battle of pornography. He has everyone who struggles with it fooled to think they can’t tell anyone because of the repercussions. In the case of Mike G., fooled to the point that he would make up a lie like CANCER! to cover up the addiction!!!!! Think about it. If Mike Guglielmucci was interviewed saying, “yeah I really battle with porn and I came home one night, sat down, and wrote this song believing that God could heal me from this nightmare addiction” everyone would have cringed. I know porn is bad, I know it’s shameful, but Jesus is bigger than that crap and if you’ll be brave enough to fess up you’ll defeat the enemy and you’ll feel freedom like you never have!!! We need to start bringing this stuff into the light NOW Church so Satan won’t take down another one of our leaders with it.

Fantastic thoughts.

By the way – if you have a chance, have a listen to some of Erwin McMannus’s Mosaic Podcasts (sermons from Mosaic church). Many are also very insightful. [Edit: It turns out a different Mosaic church *doh* – thanks for the correction, Nate :)]

There was one particularly interesting sermon where he took questions from the congregation prior (from memory, about “faith” – perhaps someone can confirm?), and answered them. This podcast, and this type of inquisitive church culture was something that was playing on my mind before I began this blog.

Enough is Enough

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I read on Bill Muehlenberg’s CultureWatch blog recently:

Now is not the time to be soft on one another. It certainly is not the time to be soft on ourselves. The heavenly Father chastens those whom he loves (Hebrews 12:1-13). And we are called to encourage each other, warn each other, challenge each other, and seek the best for each other.

It reminded me about the spirit of gentleness that God rebukes us with – with one hand rebuking us, but the other comforting us.

And it also reminded me how we, as Christians, should be treating each other.

There has been a lot of negativity (read: abusiveness) in comments recently – comments that don’t contribute any valuable insights, but exist to belittle other people.

This blog isn’t a place for people to vent anger and hatred to one-another.

It’s a place for people to discuss issues of culture that affect our church in a thoughtful and reflective manner.

Previously, I’ve let all comments pass (assuming they weren’t spam), choosing not to censor any comment – I believed that everyone has something valuable to offer.

But now, I’m going to be ruthless in deleting comments that are just plain abusive.

If you don’t have anything valuable to contribute, if you want to call other commenters names, or if you just want to be abusive – this isn’t the place for you.

To the 90% of people who contribute their valuable information, discussion, debate and insights to this blog – keep up the great work.

I don’t agree with you all the time, but your thoughtful comments are more than welcome here 🙂

Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 9, 2008 at 5:02 am

Planetshakers Placing Son On Stage Too Young?

with 16 comments

Received an interesting message via SMS.

Tomorrow’s Father’s Day church service at Planetshakers will feature 3 generations of the Evans family… Including Russell Evans’ eldest child, Jonathan (still primary school aged).

I wonder to myself… Is this appropriate?

Obviously it would be inappropriate to have Jonathan delivering a message, because 1 Timothy speaks against promoting novice pastors.

But is it also inappropriate to be placing the child on a pedestal alongside his revered father and grandfather?

I can’t help but think of Mike Guglielmucci, and the shame and torment that began for him at a slightly older age. Surely some of this was caused by the expectations he felt he had to live up to, as we heard that he bottled his sins up inside, put his best foot forward – while suffering horrible physical and emotional symptoms.

While every good parent (and I don’t doubt Russell Evans is a good parent) wants to build their child’s self esteem, and lift up their son and say “This is my son, in whom I am proud” – it seems unnecessary and potentially harmful…

… And yet again, it takes the focus off Jesus and places it on the Superstars of Planetshakers – in this case, the Evans Family.

Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 7, 2008 at 3:10 am

Scutinize All Things; Hold Fast What Is Good

with 4 comments

Thought this post was interesting and insightful:

This is a bit of a sidebar but it feeds into some of the other comments.

We certainly need to minister the “grace and truth” of Christ to those who have fallen but it is also biblical and helpful to ask if there are things within the church culture that are contributing to the problems we are experiencing.

Part of the problem is the “marketing and packaging” – image first, celebrity status, lack of open inquiry, no accountiblity (other than their chosen circle of friends), leadership and teaching in some of these churches, which have substituted orginizational growth over Jesus’ command to make disciples..

I don’t know the specifics of this church or the situation but we had better take heed to the warning of Christ — “Let no man deceive you”. Deception is rampant in our culture and is strongly influincing much of the church.

In reading a recent newsletter from a well known and respected Pastor in Minnesota who was addressing “avoiding division” in the church I was alarmed to see his postion. He said we “absolutely cannot let the enemy” enter our thinking by causing us to question the credibility of the ministry (ministers) God has chosen to connect you with.

This is a real problem we face. It also violates the teaching of Scripture.

1 Thes 5:21, Test (scrutinize) all things; hold fast what is good.

Strong’s #1381 – Dokimazo: test, prove, approve, discern, examine.
1. to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
2. to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

Scrutinize: To examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification, so that an informed decision can be made concerning the proper course of action.

This is not a suggestion, it is a command.

This same word is used in Rom 12:2, Phil 1:9-*10, 1 John 4:1.

“Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural” (or has a Christian label slapped on it).

“Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. ‘Try the spirits’ is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious (false) as by rejecting the genuine (truth). And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching.” ( A.W. Tozer)

The enemies attack is two-fold: get you to believe a lie or reject the truth.

Make sure your church is “rightly dividing the Word of truth” and be alarmed if there is not an environment that welcomes and encourages open inquiry.

Peace!

Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 7, 2008 at 2:58 am

When is someone ready for leadership?

with 33 comments

“The Doctor” posts an interesting series of ponderings:

A few things I have been pondering on …

Firstly, 1 Timothy contains instruction that would encourage elders (pastors) to be appointed who are not young men – promote not a novice. From what I have read although Timothy is referred to as a yound man, he was probably in his late twenties or early thirties … How old was Michael when he was appointed and annointed for minsitry?
Whilst there may be a case for the appoinment of some young men such as Timothy the clear injunction for the church (and Senior Pastors who seem to have two votes on most eldership boards) is not to appoint too early, take time to observe character – not charisma! And of course the family name seems to open doors that are often closed to other “lesser lights”.

Secondly, it seems to me that bad teaching plays a part in leading to this type of behaviour. After all having to acknowledge sin as a habitual problem in your life is considered amongst those who have it “all together” as a sign of weakness. The magic formula works for us (your peers in ministry), it should work for you. If it doesn’t then the problem is yours – you are not doing it right, not trying hard enough, or let’s maximise the guilt and shame by saying, you just don’t have enough faith brother! After all what place does weakness have in this type modern derivative of Christianity influenced heavily with a KINGDOM NOW Theology. That is, ALL of heaven is mine to enjoy NOW, in this life, right NOW – healing NOW, sinless perfection NOW, financial prosperity NOW, success in all I do NOW.

Thirdly, we as Christians are called to forgive and distribute mercy as freely as we have received it. We are all sinners and can bring the name of Christ into disrepute through our actions. The tragedy in Michaels case is the tremendously damaging effects of such a public fall from grace – it magnifies the reproach to the name of Christ because of the media and internet.

In closing, this is a timely reminder of the days in which we live where in the last days men will fall away because of iniquity. Therefore we should exhort each other to live a life that honours Christ and His holy Name, rather than the modern approach which exalts charismatic men and makes idols of them. Rather than the greatest shall be your servant we now have the servant shall become your master.

Honour and Serve Your King, and keep your “lesser light” shining !!!!

The question “The Doctor” raises about the right age for ministry is interesting. There’s no shortage of young leaders within Planetshakers – Russell Evans, Mike Guglielmucci and many more Planetshakers began working in ministry at reletively young ages.

Yet again, read this post at face value.

I have more questions than answers.

It’s just a shame that the culture of Planetshakers discourages discussion of these sorts of questions…

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 29, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Planetshakers “Beautiful Savior”

with 10 comments

Had this song stuck in my head all day:

I think the lyrics are lovely… It doesn’t really tell us much about Jesus, but it’s a pretty song.

Beautiful Savior by Planetshakers – Lyrics

Jesus, Beautiful Saviour,
God of all Majesty,
Risen king,
Lamb of God,
Holy and righteous,
Blessed redeemer,
Bright morning star

All the heavens shout your praise,
All creation bow to worship You

How wonderful, how beautiful,
Name above every name, exalted high
How wonderful, how beautiful,
Jesus your name, name above every name, Jesus

The guitar chords are something like…

Beautiful Savior – Planetshakers – Guitar Chords:

Verse:
A |: E/G# F#m7
E D
A/C# Bm7 E

(Note: The first A chord is only played the first time)

Bridge:
E A/C# D
E A/C# D F#m7 E

Chorus:

A F#m7
E D A/C# Bm7 D/F# E/G#

Repeat progression x2

This song was written by Henry Seeley and appears on “Pick it up” – it’s one of 5 (out of 14) songs not written by Mike Guglielmucci on that album. Majesty and Pick it Up are two other songs I like on this album, both of which were written by Mike Guglielmucci.

You can watch an interview with Henry Seeley here:

If you want to get this song, you can get it on Amazon for $0.99, or on iTunes.

The Blessings of Prominent Pastors, Todd Bentley, and Mike Guglielmucci

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I saw this image today on the blog of prominent Hillsong/Pentecostal critic,Tanya Levin:

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The picture of Mike Guglielmucci being prayed for by the AOG Executive reminded me of the prominent pastors who blessed Todd Bentley, just prior to his incredible fall from grace after the Lakeland Outpouring, as a result of adultery issues (which were known among his senior leadership):

I’m not going to comment on this beyond saying that one reminded me of the other, and it’s amazing how two men who had the blessings of so many prominent pastors, fell at roughly the same time.

I’m reminded of Dutch Sheet’s comments, following the Florida Outpouring:

We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts, charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.)

Just for the record… I disagree with most things that Tanya Levin says on her blog, believe she’s wrong and defamatory in her views that liken AOG leaders to the mafia (although her testimony of Hillsong does include stories of abuses of power and thuggery of Hillsong leaders, which is the likely reason). However, that’s beside the point…

By the way – who are the pastors interceding for Mike Guglielmucci? It looks like – Brian Houston, Alun Davies (or possibly Wayne Alcorn), Ashley Evans (Russell Evans’ brother and son of Andrew Evans), Steve Penny, and (judging by the bald head, which is our only clue) Ian Woods.

Edit: It’s obvious that in the Mike Guglielmucci photo that they’re praying for healing from cancer – but this isn’t a crippled man (Acts 3:1-10) laying at the gates of the temple – this on the stage, at the Assemblies of God in Australia National Conference, and a certain level of endorsement comes with this type of display.