Bill Slabaugh Wastes No Time Gettin’ Down and Dirty!

March 4, 2010 at 8:25 PM 17 comments

The Angry Self-Righteous Pharisee

Wow, Bill Slabaugh wastes no time in getting to his point!  I took the opportunity to download the free preview of his The New Pharisaism book, to determine whether I wanted to pay $12.95 to download the full eBook.  At any rate, he begins by referring back to his school days when he remembered being bullied by the bigger kid in school.  He managed to bypass the bully, only to meet him the next day whereupon this bully bullied him for not meeting him after school the previous day. 

Workplace Bullies
From there, Slabaugh goes into a discussion of workplace bullying, which has happened to all of us.  From there, he discusses bullying that often goes on in churches.  Up to this point, there is nothing in his book with which I would disagree. 

The New Pharisaism
Slabaugh then moves onto the subject of what he refers to as the “new Pharisaism.”  Not the first one to use the phrase, he immediately segues into the alleged “tactics” of these modern Pharisees.  He seems to hold nothing back when he states, “For several years now, several national organizations have turned their sights on the church.  As if we don’t have enough false religions systems and cults to deal with, we are now being attacked and threatened within by those who call themselves Bible-believing Christians.  This contentious attack has come by the way of books, newsletters, letters, emails, the internet, and blogs.  This inflammatory material has made its way into the church through individuals and small groups of bullies who have used it for their own selfish gain and self-styled agenda.  The weapons of their warfare consist of destructive written material which has no true scriptural basis.  They are self-appointed Pharisees who refer to themselves as ‘watchmen,’ ‘apprising ministries,’ ‘guardians of truth,’ and ‘discerning ministries.’  As a result of their intimidation and lies, people are getting hurt, churches are being split, pastors are leaving the ministry and many churches and ministries have been rendered ineffective in the world, or closed-down altogether.”[1] (emphasis added) 

You know, after reading the above comments, I’m beginning to think that Slabaugh never got over being bullied when he was a kid… 

Batter UP!
From this point, Slabaugh seems to just be getting warmed up.  He’s taken a few warm-up swings, and is now ready to knock the ball out of the park.  First, aside from his name-calling, his definition of a Pharisee appears to be lacking.  Beyond this, he also seems to be mixing up a few things here.  Yes, there are bullies in churches.  However, I have yet to run across a church bully who has the truth of the gospel as the reason for their alleged “bullying.”  Second, most bullies I have come across in church have absolutely no interest in spiritual things at all.  In fact, the examples of church bullies (he refers to them as spiritual bullies), prove this.  He refers to the church secretary who spreads damaging gossip about the pastor or someone else in the church, or the choir director who insists he will quit if he doesn’t get his way, then there’s the pastor who bullies his way through board meetings or refuses to allow people in the congregation to have their way.  I would have to agree that these people do in fact, exist in nearly all church settings that I have been associated with, or heard about.  This is not uncommon, or new.  Yet, Slabaugh has no problem making this huge jump from these individuals (who may not even be authentic Christians, but merely those who profess to have salvation), to linking them with people like Jan Markell from Olive Tree Ministries, or other folks (and he names them). 

Bill is Right – All Who Disagree with Him are Wrong
The other problem I have with Slabaugh’s commentary is that he makes declarative statements, completely lacking in love.  He dogmatically declares that what people like Jan Markell do is without biblical support.  I have a problem with that, not only because I believe him to be seriously wrong, but because while we are all tempted to make these statements, it really is incumbent upon us to present these views as our opinion with biblical support.  We do this, understanding that there may be the potential to be wrong. 

Slabaugh claims that the new Pharisee – the spiritual bully – gets his or her way in the church, by lording it over others to intimidate them, and spiritually abuse them.  Yeah, I have to say that Jan Markell is truly a force to reckon with.  Whew, I start shaking every time I see even a photo of her!  What a meanie she is!  That’s the power that Markell has and wields!  She is THE most intimidating person I have ever seen!  Lord, protect me, please! 

Slabaugh also claims that these new Pharisees major in minor doctrinal points and they supposedly redefine biblical terms.  Frankly, I’m not sure what is so minor about salvation, which is the main sticking point, but maybe to him, salvation is minor, I don’t know.  To me, it’s major, not minor.  Maybe Bill just wants people to be happy, and doggone it, if they are happy traveling a labyrinth, which covers the floor of a sanctuary, well then who cares if that labryinth is based on the same one the Druids used.  So what if people want to use “breath prayers” in which the mind is set in neutral, while the Alpha wave patterns take over.  C’mon, we just need to all lighten up a bit, don’t we? 

Who is Revising What?
I have lost track of how many people accuse other people of either historical or biblical revisionism.  That along with calling someone a heretic are very easy claims to make, yet difficult to prove.  When he also states that the arguments are mainly over minor doctrinal points, it seems clear that he has no clue, but obviously believes himself to be in the “major” doctrinal area. 

What I see from Olive Tree Ministries, Understanding the Times and other ministries is a desire to keep the gospel pure from error.  That was not the intent of the Pharisees.  They intended only to keep themselves in their cherished position of religious leader and hallowed cleric.  In today’s day and age, I do not see the previously mentioned ministries as being in the majority at all.  In fact, it is patently clear from the tone of the visible church that most people clearly reject the attempts by these ministries and others like them to warn others of impending disaster in the church. Slabaugh wants to paint an entirely different picture, of people laying broken on the street, having been ejected from this church or that one and all because of people who want to keep the gospel pure.  Now granted, I am very aware of how bullies in the church work.  They are certainly not spiritual bullies by any stretch.  They are carnal all the way around.  The last thing they are worried about is any sort of mysticism gaining a foothold in the church.  In fact, if it suits their purpose, they will proclaim it from one end of the sanctuary to the other! 

The Pharisees of Christ’s day were never questioned by anyone.  Their word was law.  They were honored in the streets and people would actually bow as these men walked by.  As Christ claimed, the Pharisees made it nearly impossible for people to gain salvation because it was buried under layers and layers of rabbinical tradition.  The Pharisees themselves did not have salvation either generally speaking. So, maybe Slabaugh is implying that the people he is referring to as the New Pharisees do not have authentic salvation either, who knows.  It came extremely close to saying it, without saying it in his introduction. 

I’m Not Seeing It
I’m simply not seeing the connection at all between the Pharisees of Jesus’ day and the alleged Pharisee of today that Slabaugh’s speaks of, at least in the form of the ministries and people he labels Pharisees.  While I do agree that the church has always had its share of Pharisees, Slabaugh’s definition of a Pharisee is way off.  Did he learn that at Dallas Theological Seminary?  If you were asked to say one word that defined the Pharisee of Christ’s day, you would probably say legalistic, or something similar. 

The alleged Pharisees of today – at least the ones Slabaugh says are Pharisees – are not legalistic as the Pharisees of Christ’s day were legalistic.  A good example of the legalism of the Pharisees is when their parents needed help, but the Pharisees would respond, “Oh darn, Mom, I WISH I could help, but I have already promised my extra money for this month to the Temple” (cf. Matthew 15:1-20).  This “corban” was merely an excuse the Pharisees used so they could get away with not helping their parents.  Christ condemned it. 

Another example of the legalism of the Pharisees is when they would promise to do something for someone and swear by the altar (You know, “I swear by the altar that I wil…”).  When it came to collect on the promise, the same Pharisee would say, “Oh, you know what?  I swore by the altar itself, instead of by the horns of the altar!  I am excused from having to keep my promise to you.”  None of this is in evidence with the ministries he points to as being Pharisaical. 

Slabaugh Seems to Be Missing His Own Point
The reality is that legalism and Pharisaism go hand in hand.  I simply do not see that as Slabaugh has defined both the Pharisee of Jesus’ day and the ones in ours.  I do know people whom I would call Pharisees today and they are exactly like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day; legalistic to a fault, hard-hearted, they are always right, and always find a way to turn things around so that they are exempt from any and all fault.  They are back-biters, proud, disobedient, they reject authority and all the rest. 

Slabaugh’s big problem is that he believes these modern-day Pharisees apparently harp on what they see as “evils” that have penetrated the church, though he obviously sees these things as altruistic, and creating a tone of love in the church, or at least encouraging it.  Things like Eastern Mysticism, aspects of the Occult, and other New Age practices, have gained access into the visible church (whether Slabaugh believes it or not), which began decades ago.  Apparently, Slabaugh does not see this as having taken place in the church.  He does not see the fact of the presence of mysticism, because to him, there is no problem!  This makes me wonder what he calls all the mystical practices that actually have found their way into the church.  I would assume that he embraces them, and does not like the fact that there are people who are calling what he embraces, error

Sticks and Stones
He is so busy accusing, labeling, and name-calling that one wonders how he manages to think that he loves anyone with whom he disagrees, though he states that a loving approach should be used when running up against the modern Pharisee.  Apparently, the new Pharisee comes across as “very cult-like and is nothing less than an attack against the Church of Jesus Christ.”[2] 

Um…okay, we get it, Bill.  You do not like what the New Pharisee stands for.  Here’s what I do not like.  I do not like the fact that Dallas Theological Seminary has gone so far off its moorings and graduates people like Bill Slabaugh who are obviously blind to the problems that do exist in the visible church.  

While Paul says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, here is yet one more person who clearly thinks we do.  The problems in the church exist because of the many aspects of mysticism that have gained entry.  This is a spiritual problem, foisted upon the visible church through spiritual entitities.  In many cases, these areas of mysticism have gained total control of the way that church worships, and what the people in that congregation believe. 

It’s the Experience
Slabaugh not only does not agree with that, but my guess is that he sees the many forms of mysticism as creating a deep sense of love (emotion/experience).  Because of the mysticism that has gained access to our congregations, many churches have become “super-sized.”  It is not uncommon to see or hear of a church with over 3, 4, 5, or 10 thousand people.  In fact, there is one of these churches not far from where I live (that we used to attend), that boasts over 4,500 people.  When you go there, it’s a carnival atmosphere.  They have a coffee shop on their “campus,” there is food before and after each church service and a million things going on.  People are excited!  The music is LOUD, raucous, and even what I would call (as a drummer), rock music.  These concerts (they call them worship services), are just that – concerts.  

The preaching at many of these churches is nothing.  Some of the sermon titles are “How to Gain More Friends,” or “What To Do When You Don’t Get That Job You Want,” or “Grab the Gusto!” or numerous other titles.  Lest people think that these titles are merely titles to get people in the door, and then actual exposition starts from the pulpit, think again.  A church service which lasts for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes usually leaves no more than 20 minutes for a “sermon.”  The sermon is usually filled with humor throughout, and quips.  The sermons are almost always topical, which is one of the easiest ways to accidentially wind up teach error, since things are often taken out of their context.  Nothing beats verse-by-verse exposition, and fewer and fewer pastors even know what that means, much less preach that way. 

Accusation After Accusation
Slabaugh’s book is filled with rank accusations.  In spite of the fact that he believes that all people (including the New Pharisees) should be handled with love, he is quick to point out that “Pharisees resist godliness with all their self-righteous might.  Their religion majors in the externals rather than the internal condition of the soul and the deepening of the person’s love and intimacy with the Savior.  They trust in themselves rather than trusting in God and they view others with contempt (Luke 18:9).  They resist the very things they need to live a godly life.”[3]  (emphasis added)  Slabaugh clearly seems to be stating that people like Jan Markell are not saved, which means he has entered into the area of judging people.  The more he states, the less he seems to know. 

Statements like the above are quite condemnatory, but the reason Slabaugh believes it is okay is because he has classified people as Pharisees, whether they are that or not.  It does not really matter, because he has determined that this is what they are, so it must be true.  If they are classified as Pharisees, then it is perfectly fine to condemn them. 

By the way, everything I’ve mentioned and quoted is from Slabaugh’s 15-page introduction (free preview).  I’m afraid to read the rest of it, for fear of the pages bursting into flames by the time I get to the end of the book.  I’m sure  there will be more name-calling, labeling, castigation, and condemnation, yet supposedly asserted in love.  

My opinion is that Slabaugh is confused.  He is confused about the Pharisees of Jesus’ day and he is confused about those who appear to be fighting to keep the gospel pure.  It also appears that while Slabaugh is interested in love, he seems to define it as an intimacy with the Savior, which then relegates it to the area of feeling, and feeling does not have to be based on truth.  It simply has to feel good.  It is based on feeling, which stems from an individual’s experience.  While there is nothing wrong with feelings, I have to wonder why he believes he can make the types of statements he makes and fear no retributive action from the very Lord he says he worships, if he is wrong. 

Jesus and Paul
If Jesus decided to go head to head with the Pharisees, that was His business.  If Paul, as a chosen apostle of the Lord believed he had the authority (and he did), to take on the “Judaizers” of Galatians, even wishing that they would all the way and emasculate themselves because of the issue of circumcision, that is Paul’s decision.  Slabaugh would likely argue that the people associated with the ministries he refers to as being Pharisaical, are calling out people like Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, and a ton of other people, who it certainly seems, Slabaugh supports

The trouble though is that by all accounts, many individuals like Warren, Richard Foster, Osteen, etc., do seem to be introducing elements of mysticism into the church setting.  The emphasis in many of these churches appears to be on feeling and experience, instead of on the truth of Scripture.  Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now” is a case in absurdity, yet the average church-goer seems to gobble it up.  They want their ears scratched and Osteen, among others certainly seems to measure up to the task.

Just as Slabaugh believes that what he is doing by writing his book is something that glorifies the Lord, the people he condemns would say that they believe what they are doing is something that glorifies the Lord as well.  The reality is that both cannot be correct, and both (including Slabaugh) must come under the truth of Scripture.  Ultimately, both do and will.

Who is Really a Pharisee?
It’s funny (or maybe, ironic).  When I read people like Jan Markell, Deborah Dumbrowski, Roger Oakland, or any number of these people, I never get the sense that they HATE the people they write about.  It appears to me that what they say, they say with a near broken heart.  On the contrary, when I read Slabaugh’s 15-page introduction, I get a deep sense of anger and resentment from him.  I could be wrong.  However, because of the amount of seeming vitriol in his opening comments, it would appear that his underlying demeanor stems not from a love, but from a near-hatred of those who are warning against what they see as departure from the faith. 

It seems relatively clear that Slabaugh is angry about something and someone.  I cannot help but wonder though if his anger is misplaced.  He seems to be blending two different groups into one, which ultimately creates a group he labels New Pharisaism.  Let’s face it, who does not love to hate the Pharisees?  It is my opinion that Slabaugh needs to back down just a trifle, and take the time to determine whether or not there is any truth in what the people he calls Pharisees are saying.  Certainly he is convinced that his opinion is the correct one.  I’m assuming he would go on to say that there is no Emergent Church, no mysticism within the church, no eastern meditation, and certainly not what would be classified as New Age.  Must be a mirage then.

Unfortunately, all of my research has convinced me of the exact opposite.  We have personally left two churches because of it.  (Slabaugh would likely be proud that we didn’t leave people broken and hurting on the curb as we left, I’m sure.)  The church seems to have been infiltrated by New Age thought and mysticism.  It has replaced the authority of God’s Word with the alleged authority of feelings and experience.  After all, if people feel more loving, then it must be true, right?  Reminds me of the song, “If lovin’ you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” 

Is Christianity Based on Truth or Feeling?
The truth of the matter is that Christianity is not based on feelings, or experience.  It is based on truth and when that truth gets shoved to the side, in favor of feelings, no matter how altruistic those feelings and experiences appear to be, something is drastically wrong. 

Slabaugh, rather than being willing to direct his gaze at the visible church to see if in fact, it has been overrun by mysticism, seems much more willing to do exactly what he says we as Christians cannot do; deal with the bullying Pharisee as Ralphie dealt with Scut Farkas in “A Christmas Story.” 

I cannot imagine what the rest of Slabaugh’s book is like, and for a $12.95 price tag (for a downloadable eBook), I’m hesitant to spring for it.  The final irony though is that while he is accusing any number of ministries of self-glorification, profit, and self-aggrandizement by taking people’s money for the books and DVDs they produce, I believe he himself is charging an excessive amount for his book.  I am unable to figure out why he thinks his book is worth $13.00 for something that I would have to print out on my own paper, with my own ink.  Oh well, no one ever said critics were able to see their own flaws. 

As of this writing, I had emailed him asking him how many pages his book was and why he is charging $12.95 for a downloadable eBook.  No response yet, but I will certainly put his response here if I ever get one. 


[1] Bill Slabaugh The New Pharisaism (2010), 12 

[2] Bill Slabaugh The New Pharisaism (2010), 12 

[3] Bill Slabaugh The New Pharisaism (2010), 15

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, Demonic, dispensationalism, Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, Life in America, new age movement, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , , , , , , , .

The New Pharisees Egypt’s Anti-Christian Shariah Legal System

17 Comments

  • 1. MPastor  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Hummmmmm….
    Not sure how to take all of this, but it seems to me that civility is not a word that is in your vocabulary. Yes…. I know that Jesus could have been accused of the same, and even Paul the Apostle, but need I remind you that YOU are not Jesus, nor are you an Apostle.

    Jesus was right. Your words do reveal the condition of your heart.

    Simon
    45 years as a pastor serving in a small, rural community

    • 2. modres  |  December 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      Hi Simon,

      So let me see if I understand this correctly.

      You came to MY blog, read one of MY articles that was in response to a book written by Bill Slabaugh in which he castigates, denigrates, and otherwise ridicules certain groups of people for what they believe?

      Then after reading my blog, instead of walking away, you decided that it was extremely important for you to post comments that are nothing more than ad hominem attacks on my character?

      Then you close with your badge of honor stating how long you have served in the pastorate as if this information is supposed to humble me because I am somehow in the presence of so great and holy a servant of the Lord.

      In a nutshell, your judgmental and insulting attitude is absolutely no different from what you claim mine to be. You have done the exact same thing, but somehow, your attitude is permissible and mine is not?

      If you had something intelligent to say that would have ADDED to the conversation, that’s fine. However, you chose what many people do with their “hit and run” insults.

      I pointed out what I believe are a number of problems in Slabaugh’s book. I did not simply write a review that vilifies the man. You took issue with the WAY in which I stated those things. That’s fine.

      So then, I am to realize that your problem with my critical review of his book was not in WHAT I said, but HOW I said it?

      The idea that I somehow believe I am equal to Jesus or Paul (implicit in your statement) is ludicrous. Never have I thought that and never will I think that.

      Apparently though, even though your remarks were completely uncivil, it is perfectly okay for YOU to act as you have acted without having to worry about whether or not someone is going to think that you yourself believe you are speaking to me as if Jesus or Paul would speak to me?

  • 3. Mike Even  |  November 25, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    what a bunch of *&^!

    Can’t believe you so called ‘experts’ who speak so confidently about the state of other people’s souls….. Who made you GOD???

    MIKE

    • 4. modres  |  November 26, 2011 at 6:47 AM

      It amazes me how you condemn ME for doing what Bill Slabaugh ALSO does.

      What a hypocrite…

      Save your breath, Mike. Any future posts from you will not be read or posted.

  • 5. Mary K  |  October 27, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    Actually, Bill S no longer has his site up, so NO I did not leave the same comment, but I did communicate with him via e-mail and found him to be gracious and kind, even in his comments about you!

    Maybe YOU need to look at your heart, as the ‘fruit’ of your lips reveals something is rotting inside of you. Isn’t that what Jesus said??

    Mary

    • 6. modres  |  October 27, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      Mary, Mary, Mary…;)

      You are no better off than you accuse me of being and it is due to a complete lack of understanding on your part. You obviously (and unfortunately) know nothing about Christianity. If you did you would understand the very unkind words Jesus called the religious leaders because they were trying to change the method of salvation just as the Emergent Church is doing today. You would also know how verbally brutal the apostle Paul was toward people who tried to change the gospel. It SHOULD be defended against people who want to either water it down or make it somrthing it’s not. I’m sorry that you cannot appreciate how vitally important it is to keep the gospel pure.

      We are done here.

  • 7. Joe Michale  |  October 27, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    I find it interesting to see this kind of junk on the web. As Mary stated, you all eat your own!! Glad I’m NOT a Christian!!

    Joe M

    • 8. modres  |  October 27, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Which simply means that you do not understand how vital the purity of the gospel is and should be kept that way. It’s a shame that you are not a Christian for the sake of your own soul and so that you could show us how to do it correctly.

  • 9. Mary K  |  October 26, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    How sad you all are… My guess is that you all have nothing better to do with your time and energy because you ARE NOT reaching out to make disciples…. What kind of people eat their own family members??? I think I’ll stay away from this site in the future…

    Mary

    • 10. modres  |  October 26, 2011 at 6:46 PM

      Mary, without realizing it, you have simply placed yourself high above all of us. Your holier-than-thou attitude merits nothing.

      Could you please explain to me how Bill Slabaugh’s book and his attitude contained within it reaches out to make disciples?

      There are huge problems with the Emergent Church and the inroads it has made within the visible Church today. Unfortunately, it is crowding out the truth of salvation. Instead of addressing that, Mr. Slabaugh preferred to write a book defining folks like myself as “modern day pharisees.”

      Mary, if you did not want to actually enter the dialogue, but simply came here to export a bit of your arrogance, it would have been better for you not to come, because your words speak for you and they don’t paint a good picture. They speak of someone who erroneously believes that a harsh word should never be spoken between “Christians,” and your judgmental attitude is as obvious to me as you believe mine is to you.

      There were some pretty harsh words exchanged between Jesus and the religious leaders of His time. Paul also expressed displeasure with certain individuals because of what they were teaching that was actually keeping people FROM gaining salvation.

      The leaders with the Emergent Church are guilty of watering down the gospel until there is virtually nothing left of it in its original form. Bill Slabaugh prefers to protect those people, while castigating folks like myself.

      Apparently, you agree with him…unless of course, you’ve left similar comments at Bill Slabaugh’s site. No, I didn’t think so…

  • 11. modres  |  April 6, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Hi Isaiah,

    Thanks for your comments. It gives me an opportunity to respond to your sarcasm.

    First of all, regarding opting to go without “three or four starbucks coffees it would cost to purchase it,” you missed the point entirely. That usually happens when people like yourself already have their opinions firmly cemented, yet accuse someone else of not being open minded.

    THE reason (as stated) that I have not chosen to purchase Slabaugh’s book has everything to do with the fact that I believe he is overcharging by a long shot. Some of my PRINTED books that I have written cost LESS than his book, yet I am to pay $13.00 for a book that I would download, THEN print out on my printer, using MY paper and MY ink to do so, if I want a printed copy? Yet Slabaugh has the mendacity to criticize those who are ALSO selling their materials (books, DVDs) in an alleged bid to make a ton of money? Who is he kidding? THAT is why I have not purchased his book.

    Also, as stated numerous times in my articles about Slabaugh’s book, my comments were ONLY related to his INTRODUCTION. As such, they are completely accurate since they only relate to what he states in his 15-page introduction. In spite of the fact that Slabaugh himself posted a comment here stating that it was only an introduction, as I stated then, if the body of the book is that much different than the tone of his introduction, then he either needs to go back and rewrite the introduction, or maybe someone should sue him for false advertising?

    It is obvious from your comments above “I purchase his book the moment I found it,” etc.) that you had approached his book with a presupposition. That presupposition is that the topic Slabaugh discusses is one which is close to your heart. You state you have read the introduction and that I “may have good points,” yet you immediately offer a disclaimer since you have not read the entire book. You state that you “don’t know the truth of it,” which implies that you believe there is a chance that I am lying, or deliberately slanting the truth.

    Of course, as I have stated, my comments refer ONLY to the introduction, and I said that numerouus times in my review of Slabaugh’s book. So your problem actually is not at all with Slabaugh’s book, but with me. You do not like the fact that I critiqued it negatively.

    Slabaugh’s introduction was not merely a page and a half. It was FIFTEEN PAGES long, which leaves plenty of room for review.

    I’m certain you will find little to nothing wrong with Slabaugh’s “teaching,” as you may very well be part of that same Emergent Church crowd which sees nothing wrong with the teachings of Warren, Foster, James, Neuwen, Campolo, and a host of other Emergent Luminaries.

    Hey, did you hear that Rick Warren has $320 million dollars he has nothing better to do with so he is purchasing the New Orleans Saints? Oh, but wait, I should not be criticizing poor Rick. What am I thinking? How Pharisaical of me…

    Thanks for writing, Iaiah.

  • 12. Isaiah J Roberts  |  April 5, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    Hello, this is not a reply to any comment, simply a response to the main article. I shall endeavor to return tomorrow when I have more time to fully prepare my thoughts.

    As I have not yet finished the book, I will withhold judgement. I would assume that a similar approach be taken by a well meaning blogger/reporter. While you may have good points(I don’t know the truth of it, as I am only a little past the introduction), it is your responsibility as a content producer to produce real, quality content. I purchased a copy of this book the moment I found it; perhaps you could manage to part with the three or four starbucks coffees it would cost to purchase it, and read the whole thing. I would indeed be interested in hearing your thoughts after you have. Til I research this more deeply,

    Never Alone,
    Isaiah Roberts
    Bible Believing, Born Again Christian. Saved by Grace…

  • 13. modres  |  March 14, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Thank you for your input, Bill. As you can see, I have posted your response in its entirety.

    Above your response, is a complete post by Sundquist, so you can see for yourself what, if anything, you disagree with in his post.

    I sent you an email a week or so ago, about the total number of pages in your ebook, and what made you feel a downloadable book is worth $13.00 that I would have to print out on my printer, using my ink/toner. I have not heard from you about that. It’s certainly possible that you did not receive it.

    Regarding the intro to your book, it appears to me (going solely by the introduction) that you have blended two groups into one, referring to people who decry the mysticism that has made its way into the church, as Pharisees. Philip Gulley seems to do the same thing in his book “If The Church Were Christian.” Brian McLaren is known for his attacking anyone who holds to the five fundamentals of the faith. His latest book “A New Christianity” is certainly no exception. Anyone who calls attention to anything that smacks of mysticism gaining entry into the church is referred to as “pharisees,” “hatemongers,” etc. All you are doing is continuing to perpetuate it.

    I have concerns about books like yours (and I stated in my original post that I had not read your ENTIRE book), because they tend to make declarative statements and sweeping generalizations. I’m not sure from reading your introduction if YOU are the one who is now doing the bullying, or if you really believe that the bullies in the church are in the marjority (with their presence, not necessarily in numbers).

    You believe that Matthew 7:1-2 is a good definition of a Pharisee? I don’t. I see Christ coming out against the individual (all of us) who tends to be judgmental toward other people. We all fall into that category, not just Pharisees. This Sermon on the Mount of His includes a ton of warnings and implications, both prior to 7:1-2 and following it.

    The Pharisees were LEGALISTS, as it pertained to the Law of Moses. They were SO legal in fact, that they could TWIST it to their advantage. This is NOT judgmentalism. It is LEGALISM.

    What Christ was talking about there was when we JUDGE a person’s MOTIVATION for what they do, not DISCERNING whether something is doctrinally CORRECT or INCORRECT. These are two different things, Bill. I’m surprised you are not aware of that, but maybe I should not be, considering how far off Dallas has come, since its founding.

    What you seem to be advocating is that no one should JUDGE (or discern and offer an opinion of) that which MIGHT be attacking soteriology (salvation), and what might be attempting to DETRACT from it.

    These discerning ministries are there – in my opinion – to JUDGE or DISCERN the sanctity and veracity of doctrine that IS established in the visible Church. You imply that people should NOT take a stand AGAINST things that are obviously mystical, though it is through these things that the New Age is making huge inroads into the visible Church. You more than imply that people like me should keep my mouth shut, because to offer an opinion AGAINST these practices is JUDGING. You are wrong.

    I do not honestly believe that this would be Paul’s OR Jesus’ approach today at all. The integrity of the gospel of Christ should remain fully valid. When things start creeping into the church like the use of labyrinths, rosaries, breath prayers or contemplative prayers, or spiritual formation, or the like, that is cause of HUGE concern.

    While we obviously should not condemn people, we should WARN them that they are moving away from truth into error. I can only wonder what you might have called some of the OT prophets like Ezekiel, or Nehemiah, who became so angry at some of the men of Israel, that he yanked their beards out because of their careless attitudes!

    Jesus Himself created a whip from rope/cord and overturned the money changers tables in the Temple area, IN ANGER. Why? Because he was zealous for His Father’s house, that it should be pure. It had become a den of thieves. Would you also have told Him that He was starting to act like a Pharisee? Or how about Paul when he said he wished the Judaizers (in Galatians) would go all the way and emasculate themselves. Pretty judgmental, wouldn’t you say?

    If your book is hugely different from the introduction of it, then I would suggest you go back and re-write your introduction, because it gives a picture that YOU say is not really there in the rest of the book.

    As a Christian who also supports Israel’s political right to exist, I am being called a Pharisee because of that as well. It is funny how often people like yourself and others can JUDGE my opinion, my stance, my doctrinal beliefs and refer to ME as a Pharisee (or much worse), and that is fine. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, and there are ministries who are doing their best to KEEP New Age mysticism out of the church, then THEY are categorized as being judgmental, and Pharisaiacal. It makes little sense to me, frankly.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  • 14. Bill  |  March 14, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Sadly, by way of blogs, emails, and comments, too many presuppositions and erroneous assumptions have been made about my book by people who have not read it. They do not understand that an Introduction is just that—an introduction. Everything is fully explained in the next four hundred plus pages that follow. As an example of this kind of misunderstanding, I have never heard of Jan Markell and her ministry called “Understanding the Times.” I had in mind a different organization with a similar name which is called “Understanding the Times” by Christian Research Service and Eastern Regional Watch. The text of the book clearly identifies this other organization. I personally apologize to Jan Markell for any misunderstanding this may have caused.

    Ironically, in his first letter to me, James Sundquist exhorted me to “Keep up the good work fellow soldier in Christ.” Apparently, without having read anything on my website, he made one false assumption after another. In his letter, Mr. Sundquist promoted over a dozen of his internet links which he presumed I would be interested in reading.

    When Mr. Sundquist realized his error, he sent a letter to a former church where I had served as Sr. Pastor. In my book and on my website, I have been careful to use appropriate discretion and not bring churches and individuals who were still in those churches into the public light. That only causes more harm to people who are already hurting. Every person whom I cited by name, left the church after circulating their damaging and divisive material.

    However, Mr. Sundquist has posted his private letter to the church on the internet and has dragged the church and certain individuals into the public arena. In typical bullying style, he wrote to the church concerning me, “So he would no longer be subject to church discipline of your local church.” It’s very reminiscent in Scripture where a bully by the name of Sanballat distributed an open letter in an attempt to discredit Nehemiah (see Neh. 6:5-7).

    In his letter, Mr. Sundquist quoted three paragraphs from my book which he says are my “exact published words.” In the quote he jumbled the order of the sentences and left out complete parts of a sentence. Is this incompetence by the person who sent him the quotation or is it something else?

    In my book, I referred to this kind of spiritual stalking as pit bull Pharisaism. Having been discovered, one would think that the pit bull would change his tactics. But before sending me another letter, Mr. Sundquist sent out blanket letters to churches in the town where I now live. He included a copy of the letter he sent to the church where I had served and a copy of a letter he had sent to a ministry that has nothing to do with Mr. Sundquist’s issues. He began this public letter by writing, “You should be alerted to the fact the former pastor of [church name] has move to your town of [place]. You may not even know who he is, but in case he attends your church or promotes himself in your area, you should be warned about him.” Apparently, without reading my book and relying on faulty quotations and assumptions, Mr. Sundquist has come to one erroneous judgment after another and either commended or condemned people based on his self-styled judgment. We are starting to hit on a good description of Pharisaism as it is described in Matthew 7:1-2:

    ”Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

    Many of the organizations that I cite in my book refer to themselves as “discerning ministries.” If they are so discerning, one wonders why they can’t get the basic stuff right and why they make so many faulty assumptions.

    Mr. Sundquist followed his public letters with a letter to me in which he wrote, “Therefore, I must officially rescind my statement about you in my last letter to you, and publicly call you to repentance and appeal to you to make restitution to all of the saints that you have bullied. I have already publicly responded to your having borne false witness against me and warned the brethren.” It should not surprise us that bullies do not take their own advice. While my book stands as a defense of believers and churches who have been attacked or will be attacked, Mr. Sundquist has continued to rely on innuendo, faulty assumptions, and bullying attacks to prove that he is not the kind of person that might be called a bully.

  • 15. joel  |  March 13, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    I find it interesting that you comment so forcefully about a book that you have never fully read? How do you know that Mr Slabaugh doesn’t clarify his comments? As one who has just finished reading his book, I find his arguments to be biblically sound and his treatment of people fair.

    Though in places his tone indicates to me that he still feels the sting of those who have injured him, I find that he seeks to stay biblically grounded and practically focused.

    I recommend his book even if one doesn’t fully agree with him on every point, because this book could serve the Body of Christ by reminding us to practice biblical civility to the way in which we deal with those we disagree with.
    2 Tim 2:22-26

    Joel

    • 16. modres  |  March 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

      Hi Joel,

      Have you read the detailed response by James Sundquist above yours? I would suggest that Slabaugh needs to be reminded of 2 Timothy 2:22-26 more than I do.

      I also find it interesting that you defend the forcefulness of HIS tone (while condemning mine), and while he MAY seek to be biblically grounded, your comment presupposes that he IS biblically grounded. If the remainder of his book (beyond the 15-page introduction) IS somehow biblically grounded, then he needs to go back and rewrite his introduction, which is completely devoid of biblical tenents and truth.

      I would imagine then that you likely find Brian McLaren’s, Philip Gulley’s, Tony James, and numerous others within the Emergent Church to be profound reading. The reality is that Bill Slabaugh and others are CASTIGATING those with which they do not agree. He is no more civil than Brian McLaren is biblical, yet these types of individuals have a growing following largely because people are biblically illiterate and ignorant.

      What you (and others like you) are assuming is that Slabaugh is CORRECT about his assumptions. You yourself stated that you believe his response is biblical. Okay then, if you would please take the time to address MY points about HIS comments in his 15-page introduction. Exactly WHERE in any of those 15 pages is Slabaugh biblically grounded with the results to which he arrives? I would love to hear it.

      I emailed Slabaugh a while ago asking him two simple questions:
      1) how many pages were in his book?
      2) why he felt he could charge $13.00 for a book that I would download and print on my printer with my ink?

      I have not had the courtesy of a response from Mr. Slabaugh. Maybe he is simply interested in selling his downloadable book and does not really care to respond to queries. Maybe you can help me with question number 1: how many pages are in his book total?

      The fact that Slabaugh slams people like Markell (and his comments are VERY near slanderous and defamatory, if they are not actually there) as well as others for charging for their PRINTED books and ACTUAL DVDs, yet he has the temerity to charge MORE than I do for some of MY printed books is just slightly hypocritical.

      Some of the comments and examples Slabaugh provides are of those who are LEGALISTIC to a fault, but have no connection with those who are simply attempting to keep the gospel pure. He is constantly mixing these two groups up, because it plays better in his book and he looks the hero.

      It is absolutely no surprise to me that there is a growing fanbase for books from people like McLaren, Gulley, Slabaugh and others. They are preaching another gospel and people are gobbling it up faster than they can breathe the air. While you are busy recommending Slabaugh’s book, you might do well to ask yourself IF Slabaugh’s accusations are CORRECT (and they most certainly do NOT appear to be), and IF what he is preaching may find him at odds with the truth of Scripture.

      Thanks for your input, Joel.

  • 17. modres  |  March 9, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    The following was submitted by James Lundquist:

    Dear Fred,

    I commend you for exposing Bill Slabaugh…another destroyer of the brethren. Thought you might be interested in my response to him.

    What is tragic about this is that he touts the importance of Christian leaders credentials that he possesses such as having gone to seminary and being a pastor for so many years, which he could have and should have used to be a good watchman on the wall and clearly known from all of his training and study of Scripture how many false teachings are in Warren’s books, teachings, and programs. Christians ought to be able to trust their pastors to warn them about false teachers and shepherds. But because he and a host of other so-called pastors with credentials didn’t do their job, it was left to many good Bereans who are not pastors to do it, like Ray Yungen. But what does he do but attack the messengers for doing what he failed to do. His dereliction of duty and attacking those who really are defending the faith, renders him twice dead.

    I publicly called him to repentance and appealed to him to make restitution to all of the saints that he has bullied. I have already publicly responded to his having borne false witness against me and warned the brethren.

    Kindest regards in Christ,

    James Sundquist
    Director
    Rock Salt Publishing
    http://www.voiceoftruthradio.com/james.htm

    Here is my public response to Mr. Slabaugh:

    Dear Pastor Kurt Staeubel, Pastor Dick Hege, & Elders and Members of Coeur D’Alene Bible Church,

    I was informed by your webmaster that Bill Slabaugh is no longer your Senior Pastor and has moved to Emmett, Idaho. So he would no longer be subject to church discipline of your local church. However, for purposes of warning the sheep, his potential attempt to secure references of letters of recommendation from your church, and the church at large wherever he might go, and to the members of the Church at large who will purchase his book or hear him speak at a church or conference, I am biblically mandated to respond to his charges against me as well as my publisher Southwest Radio whom he has also falsely accused.

    What follows, are the exact published words by Mr. Slabaugh me in his new book: The New Pharisaism:

    Here is his quote about me on page 146;

    “It’s not that the Pharisee who derides another person should not be rebuked; rather their reaction to the rebuke reveals the true condition of the heart. Likewise, their reaction to a scriptural response reveals their true intent.

    Lynda Graybeal of Renovaré found herself in the tenuous
    The Tactics of the New Pharisaism ~ 146 ~ THE NEW PHARI S A I SM
    © 2010 Bill Slabaugh http://www.thenewpharisaism.com
    position of having to respond to the relentless attack by pit bull Pharisaism. Even though she graciously and scripturally responded to the accusations, her response was taken apart line-by-line, shredded, and put back together in typical Pharisaical fashion to make her words mean what they wanted them to mean. I will not go into the wicked pharisaical details of the correspondence, but you may check the footnote if you would like to read it. 33

    It’s not like the tactics of the New Pharisaism resemble spiritual blackmail because the Pharisees want everyone to know what they are doing. Nor is it like paying protection money to the spiritual mob bosses because the Pharisees seek the downfall of the ministry. It is very much like trying to rally the public to pick up their pitchforks and torches and join the witch hunt. One of the tragedies of our postmodern culture is that a person can maintain a good reputation until someone makes some kind of an accusation. Sadly, people who know the person well and thought of him or her as a person of integrity tend to believe the accusation; otherwise, why would the accusation even be made? You might remember Ray Donovan who was Secretary of Labor in the Reagan Administration. He was falsely accused of corruption by political opponents. After he was acquitted of any wrong doing he held a press conference. When asked how he felt about being exonerated and about the office that he had once held he responded, “Which office do I go to, to get my reputation back?” Once a ministries’ Just be prepared to feel soiled and dirtied if you pull up the webpage. It’s just one more example of the Pharisaical doublethink/doubletalk that attempts to dominate and control someone else’s ministry. And through their blogs and websites, they make sure that the Christian public is very much aware of the alleged evil.”

    It was Lynda Grabeal that threatened me with legal action (i.e., lawsuit) for exposing simply what RIchard Foster was teaching and who he promoted….can’t help but wonder why she didn’t threaten Ray too?This is the Christian response of Lynda Graybeal, that Bill Slabaugh referred too. Note he never wrote a shred of proof that I did not tell the truth. So what is it I said about Richard Foster that was not true? So what am I supposed to do with a false teacher? Remain silent?
    On the bottom of his website he states after his 2010 copyright:

    “This copyright pertains to the entire Web Site. No portion may be duplicated in any way.”

    He is apparently not familiar with copyright laws. First of all, if the copyright laws upheld what he states, no journalist could ever even cite him. Two, any statement he makes publicly (which he would have done by publishing his book) about any person, that person has ever right to PUBLICLY quote and refute to defend himself against libel and slander and can even legally sue him for false statements. Three, every Christian should biblically be able to be a good Berean to examine his teachings to see if they are true and be of God. If they aren’t, the Christian has every biblical mandate to expose him publicly before his own church and the church at large…the community at large for that matter.

    In this regard, also please be apprised of my March 1 letter to Dr. Tim & Renee Rule, Directors of APHESIS GROUP.

    March 1, 2010

    Dear Dr. Tim & Renee Rule,

    This is a followup inquiry to my Feb 26 email to you. Please advise.

    I just read that Bill Slabaugh, who indicates on his website that he is a group facilitator for APHESIS GROUP (is that your group?) on a new book by Bill Slabaugh entitled:

    The New Pharisaism:
    How Spiritual Bullies Attack the Church
    http://www.thenewpharisaism.com/

    in which he quotes from Margaret Jone’s book:

    Not of My Making
    Bullying, Scapegoating and Misconduct in Mainline Churches
    By Margaret W. Jones, Ph.D.

    I found it ironic that he attacks Southwest Radio and other ministries, because they published the very spiritual abuse of authority in churches he is accusing them of.

    I found it also very disturbing that he works with you, yet promotes a website which has Deepak Chopra large banner at its head
    (see: http://www.overcomebullying.org/)

    Deepak Chopra will lead any willing victim into the Abyss as Ray Yungen or Warren Smith, experts on the New Age would tell you, yet Mr. Slabaugh attacks Ray Yungen, an author with Lighthouse Trails who warns the church in his books about the infiltration of New Age teachings into the church. What is wrong with that?

    Mr. Stabaugh touts and recommends Margaret Jones. Here is an interview on Baptist Deception in which she stated:

    “For me what was significant was that the church had been the one safe place in my life.”

    This is precisely what a host of Christians in Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Churches thought!

    So I have written two books on Rick Warren and documented case after case of how he and his programs have destroyed Christian brothers and sisters as well as entire churches. I know, I and many other ministries get the SOS calls and letters of the devastation Rick Warren has left in his wake through his forced covenants and going after anyone whom he calls “resisters”. It is further ironic that Mr. Stabaugh would shoot messengers and call them the New Pharisees. The Apostle Paul condemned the Pharisees three times in Galatians because they were trying to put Christians back under the law and put them back into bondage. That is precisely what Rick Warren has done and why we had to expose him for the same kind of spiritual abuse and bondage. So to Mr. Slabaugh I would say as the Apostle Paul stated: “I am now therefore the enemy because I tell you the truth?” So how is it that Dr. Jones is exempt from Mr. Slabaugh’s charges for having warned us about her journey of spiritual abuse of leaders in the church, exactly what Dr. Noah Hutchings and I have done in our books published at Southwest Radio (swrc.com)?

    The Bible commands us to sound the alarm on His Holy Hill and not remain silent in the face of iniquity.
    That is what I and all of the ministries Mr. Slabaugh attacks are doing. He also attacks us for doing this for financial exploitation, yet he has no problem offering his book up for $. All this to find out that he too is a promoter of Rick Warren. So who is the true Pharisee (Hypocrite) here?

    If Mr. Slabaugh wants to take out bullys in the church, he should have written a book on how to deal with one of the biggest bullys in the church today, that is Rick Warren. There are now at least a dozen books written by pastors, scholars and lay Christians who have been destroyed by this man. Does your ministry bring the Balm of Gilead to the host of destroyed brothers and sisters, who were simply defending the faith, left dismembered in the wake of Purpose Driven Global Peace Plan?

    I know that Matthew 18 is constantly used to expel Christians…because they are not loyal to the leaders and convenants they signed in PDL of Rick Warren. But their loyalty is misplaced. Christ alone is our Good Shepherd!

    My documentation of bullying in the church can be documented in my books and articles on our websites below.

    I can only hope and pray that you are simply not aware of what Mr. Slabaugh is doing that you would enlist him as a group leader for Aphesis Group.

    Are you sure that this is an alliance you want to keep? This appears to me to be a clear cut case of an unholy alliance. I pray that you will heed my warning about him.

    Kindest regards in Christ,

    James Sundquist
    Director
    Rock Salt Publishing
    http://www.voiceoftruthradio.com/james.htm

    &

    http://rock-to-salt.cephasministry.com/

    I have every right to defend myself according to Scripture. Mr. Slabaugh is a tale bearer and has born false witness against me and many fellow soldiers in Christ whom I know to be truthful and honorable Christians!!!!

    I have copied Southwest Radio, Lighthouse Trails, Understanding the Times, Ken Silva, Director of Apprising Ministries.

    From your website, I am encouraged to see that Scripture is your final and inerrant authority for your church. So, hopefully you will understand and heed the warning of this letter. Since you preach the Word, you will certainly know that slanderers will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven as both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John warn us in the Bible.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    James Sundquist
    Director
    Rock Salt Publishing
    ****

    Kindest regards in Christ,

    James Sundquist
    Director
    Rock Salt Publishing
    http://www.voiceoftruthradio.com/james.htm


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