10 Reasons Preachers Become Divas

10 REASONS SOME PASTORS DEVELOP A SUPERSTAR MENTALITY
By Joseph Mattera

From the outset of this article I do not want to convey the thought that just because a leader has name recognition or becomes popular that they are not people of God. Many of my close friends in the ministry are also celebrities in their own right but do not exhibit these traits. However, It would be less then honest for those of us in the church not to admit the aberrant behavior of some of our own. The following are ten reasons some church leaders develop a superstar mentality. » Read more

25 Reasons Abusive Church Leadership IS Disqualifying

In the previous post, Mars Hill Church “Investigators” Claim Driscoll’s Transgressions Not Disqualifying, I indicated my strong disagreement with the conclusions of the group of elders and an overseer who identified themselves as the “investigators” who conducted an investigation into the long train of abuses, misdeeds, and other allegations against the founding senior leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Mark Driscoll. Those men concluded that “While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.” » Read more

Nicolaitanism in the Modern Church

[Note: With the matter of authoritarian abuse by ministers surfacing in the news more than ever before, it is vital that the church and church leaders begin to look seriously (though such is not a popular or prevalent thing among the vast majority of ministers today) at the root causes underlying the above-the-surface produce of such sinful activities by those who assume the place of authority in churches today. It is also vital for the Body of Christ to know that God has been issuing prophetic warnings about this prevalent problem of hyper-authoritarianism, particularly in the Neo-Pentecostal movement, for decades, but mostly, as is typical of prophetic warnings, to little avail. Instead of heeding those warnings by the prophets God sends to each generation, the church by-and-large still ignores them, the message, and the Source of the message…until, that is, it affects them personally, and then they want to know why God didn’t warn them or keep the destructive consequences from happening to them. Unfortunately, the church still kills the prophets God sends to them, though today they “kill” them by ignoring, refusing to recognize and support, or in various ways marginalizing them and their ministries; this is particularly true of the ecclesio-politically-powerful elite, the de facto ecclesiastical aristocracies, and the Charismatic “La Cosa Nostra,” meaning those who by various means have seized the human thrones of power of the various streams of the earthly institutional church. The following is an excerpt from my book, Charismatic Captivation—Authoritarian Abuse & Psychological Enslavement in the Neo-Pentecostal Church, originally published in 1996. The sub-premise of the book is that the heretical hyper-authoritarian doctrines, dogmas, and practices proliferated during the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement were surreptitiously infused into the fabric, foundation and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church, in particular, producing a plethora of problems that inhibits it from fully apprehending the purposes and plans that Jesus, the exclusive functional Head of the Church He is building, intended for it to apprehend.]

One of the common denominators of false cults, false religions, and the occult is that their doctrines and practices are predicated upon the “isms” of vain, humanly invented philosophies. The same is true of the heretical hyper-authoritarian Discipleship/Shepherding doctrines, dogmas, and practices that were infused into the fabric, foundation, and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church, which fact is further corroboration that they are all of the aforementioned characterization: cultic, false, and occult. One of the most significant “isms” of the Discipleship heresy is one that is specifically mentioned and condemned in the Bible—Nicolaitanism. » Read more

14 Common Traits of Toxic Church Leaders

Editor’s Note: For more than 35 years I’ve been doing all I can to alert the Body of Christ to the prevalent problem of ungodly, unChrist-like hyper-authoritarian church leaders. They are the bane of the church in that they pervert and distort the whole concept of human under-shepherds who are supposed to be mirroring and representing the Great Shepherd, the literal and functional Head of the Church that He is building. Human leaders shape the earthly church in many ways — some of which are tangible and obvious, others intangible and subtle. For many years, the author of the following article has worked closely with, coached and counseled, and observed church leaders. Primarily, his work and associations have not been with the Pentecostal/Charismatic branch of the church; nevertheless, his observations about church leaders and leadership often have application to that realm as well. My book, Charismatic Captivation, remains, 18 years after its release, to be one of the leading books dealing head-on with the matter of hyper-authoritarianism in the Neo-Pentecostal church, in particular, and continues to be found by hundreds of new readers and scores of booksellers every year around the world. One of the reasons for the continued demand for the book, I believe, is that it is a prophetic book, written from a prophet’s perspective, scribed through a prophetic pen. One significant hallmark of genuine prophets is that they disdain and eschew ecclesiastical politics, to their self-detriment and deterrence of their ministry in many ways. Certainly, this book’s contents reflects all of that. It is direct and straightforward. It spares not. In writing it, I made no attempt to be politically-correct, but every attempt to put to paper exactly what I heard the Lord speaking in my Spirit, without sugar-coating it. For these reasons, the self-appointed, de facto Pentecostal/Charismatic aristocracy has by no means accepted or received the message of this book, even to the present. The backcover copy captured and prophesied the essence of why the book’s message has been so disdained by many Charismatic ministers: “Charismatic Captivation exposes the widespread authoritarian abuse that has been flourishing virtually unabated for decades since it was first infused into the very fabric, foundation, and functions of the Charismatic/Neo-Pentecostal church during the ‘Discipleship/Shepherding Movement.'” The symptoms of toxic church leaders the author of the following article identifies are essentially identical to the signs and symptoms of abusive church leadership identified in my books and other writings. The only comment I would make about the article regards the first sentence. While I would agree with it when applied to the entire institutional church as a whole, unfortunately, the percentages of toxic church leaders within the Pentecostal/Charismatic is higher than the church-at-large. There’s a number of significant reasons for that, albeit that matter is beyond the scope of this post. The recent spate of church leaders being exposed as being dominating and controlling abusers of authority and the far-reaching effects of their antichrist leadership methodologies demonstrates the extensiveness and expansiveness of this spiritually destructive cancer that a large portion of the church has stubbornly refused to recognize and thus allowed to metastasize virtually unabated for decades, despite the warnings and admonitions of some of its prophets. Espousal and practice of these symptoms of spiritual toxicity in leadership are by no means limited to the ecclesiastical realm, but are also increasingly found in the Christian business arena as well, particularly among the ranks of business enterprises that spiritually identify with Neo-Pentecostal streams and associate their business endeavors with the more spiritual-sounding realm of “marketplace ministries,” where the cult-like tactics of domination and control are the same, despite the claim to a more sophisticated and spiritual stratosphere than that of the normal business realm.[End Editor’s Note]

Fourteen Symptoms of Toxic Church Leaders
By Thom Ranier

Most church leaders are godly and healthy. A toxic church leader, one that is figuratively poisonous to the organization, is rare. But it is that church leader who brings great harm to churches and other Christian organizations. And it is that leader that hurts the entire cause of Christ when word travels about such toxicity. » Read more

Egotism and Narcissism in Ministry

Over time in the ministry you have opportunities to meet and know people in various forms of ministry and ancillary fields of endeavor such as Christian entertainment of various levels of notoriety. My beginnings in the ministry afforded me perhaps more opportunities than most in that regard. One of the observations I was forced to make early on in my experience as a Born Again Christian is that no matter how spiritual and humble those of this ilk I met or became acquainted with were, they all had an ego, some larger than others, but they all had an ego. In the first couple of years of my Christian walk (though I now know how silly that was), I was troubled about that, to the point of being somewhat disillusioned and distracted, especially in the case of those who were famous or well-known.

As much as those who are earnestly attempting to emulate the life and nature of Christ endeavor to die to themselves and become of “no reputation” as Jesus did, I think we all pretty much are always going to be saddled with the bane, if you will, that when we get right down to it, we all have an ego. Though I’ve thought about it many times, I really still do not know how to reconcile some things about that. Does having an ego mean that we haven’t died to ourselves yet? Does having an ego mean we have not made ourselves of no reputation as Jesus did? Does God not want us to have an ego at all?

I really don’t know the answer to any of those questions. I’m not even sure any of us mere mortals will ever know the answer to those questions, definitively, as long as we are in these mortal bodies. Basically, I chalk it up to being way beyond my pay grade, and end up dropping it. » Read more

Extreme Prophetic?

Sadly, there are a small number of fringe-element Charismatic ministries today who claim to be operating in the “extreme prophetic” that are the very sort of devil-inspired ministries that give the Charismatic Church a bad name. They are a blight on the image of the 21st Century Post-Pentecostal Church that it must disown and distance itself from in order to reclaim its rich heritage and integrity.

As it stands, it is these few “bad apple” ministries that are spoiling the Charismatic barrel in the eyes of the world as well as the ecclesia as a whole. The Neo-Pentecostal church must begin to rise up to the place of spiritual maturity in which it begins to discipline itself. Every significant institution of society—whether it be the medical field, with the likes of the A.M.A. or the legal profession with its A.B.A., and so forth—have had to come to the realization that it must regulate or govern itself if it is to maintain the integrity and even the longevity of the institution. Both Houses of the U.S. Congress governs itself, with measures built into the rules and procedures for sanctioning or disciplining of unruly members. The time has come for the institution of similar measures in the Neo-Pentecostal Ecclesia. » Read more

Disarmament or Discernment?

Cajoling the foe to disarm, thereby rendering him defenseless against his diabolic deceptions and dastardly designs of captivation, has been the ploy of the enemy for time immemorial, whether in the sociological systems of the world or the polity of the Church. Relative to the latter, Satan’s obsession is to disarm believers of the “weapons of our warfare” we’ve been issued by God. With the former, the doctrines of Marxism are replete with demonically inspired dogmas and idioms aimed at pacification of the masses to pave the way for totalitarian hegemony of submissive peoples achieved solely through ideological indoctrination and the total avoidance of militaristic resistance. Use sophisticated mind control tactics to disorient and disable your target is the underlying methodology of fascist guerrilla warfare. It’s a mind game, and no one is more skilled at conjuring and effectively utilizing it than the Serpent of old, the craftiest of all the beasts of the field God had made (Gen. 3:1). Psychological enslavement is his game and total dominion of the Creation is his aim! “But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in fierce anger (fury), because he knows that he has [only] a short time [left]! (Rev. 12:12b; AB)

At that time many will FALL AWAY and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Mat. 24:10,11,21-28).

» Read more

A Statement and Appeal Regarding the Lakeland Outpouring

The following article by Dutch Sheets was published August 21, 2008 on his personal website. It had been my intention to republish it then, in the interest of fairness to him: a) because I have also published criticism of him on by blogs; b) because I am impressed with and blessed by the character he demonstrated in standing up to admit his own indirect complicity in the matter and to repent thereof, and even to be critical of the actions of some of his closest ministry friends and colleagues in the matter, knowing the potential for stress his criticisms would engender in those relationships, which he expressly acknowledges; c) because I agree with the overall essence of the points he makes, and believe what he says can be very helpful to many in the Body of Christ who have been confused, dismayed, and their faith challenged by the whole Lakeland debacle; d) in the interest of providing our readers with independent affirmation that there was and remains to be rather widespread concern and criticism regarding the so-called “Lakeland Outpouring” and its principals, and; e) because he states well some things that need to be said by someone of his station and someone who is in relationship with some of the principals involved in the “apostolic alignment” that precipitated the demise of the Lakeland debacle. Somehow, however, in my busyness, republishing it contemporaneously slipped through the cracks. But, when I ran across the article today, I felt I should republish it now, despite being belated by nearly two years. » Read more

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