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Letters On Friday's Commentary April 2008

Comments on Friday’s Web cast. (scriptures used are from KJV of the bible)

1 Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Glancing through the website, I was able to catch the Friday broadcast on Saturday morning in sunny Florida.  It was no surprise to me upon hearing Sister Leverene Greenwood’s truthful statements about Noel Jones and his so called City of Refuge.   This is a true representation of the state of the church in the United States today.  With all the shenanigans, sexual immorality, and pimping, it’s no wonder the churches in the United States as a joke to this dying world (2 Peter 2:1-2)  I am thankful to Christ that you asked us to go back a listen to this broadcast.  There are many questions pondering through the mind, not about the validity of Ms. Greenwood’s personal accounts with Noel, but the error that caused her, and others to stay so many years under Noel Jones (I do not call him bishop). There are some questions that the scripture can answer in this whole ordeal: Can err of females being preachers cause a woman to not obey the truth of God’s Word?  Is this City of Refuge a church and why/why not?  Where were the strong men?  Can a person lose an anointing? Could all this be true?  What does all this have to do with me as a Christian?

Error in females being in authority.

The biblical account of women being called to minister/preach is not recorded in the blessed canon.  This error alone can cause men and women to be blinded from the fact that they are being pimped.  Let’s start in Genesis 3: 

Genesis 3:1-8  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Here we see the woman being deceived by the serpent.  The interesting note in the context of this passage is the woman gives the fruit to the man to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden.  Here the woman takes an authoritative role that is in clear violation of what God had given to Adam.  We see the Lord Almighty mentioning of this error in the beginning of verse
17.  Adam listened to the voice of his wife, and not the voice of the Lord.  The woman took authority when Adam should have spoken up against this error.  Instead, the woman gave the fruit to Adam, and the woman did not at all see that she had been deceived early by the serpent.  So is the case for female ministers.  They have not been given the authority to usurp over man, and like the woman in Genesis 3, miss all of the deception coming there way. 

Sister Leverene stated several times that she noticed strange things during the 20 some years the mess was going on.  Why did she not leave at the first sight of deception?  Why didn’t she get heard by the snake (Noel Jones) when she spoke up for righteousness?  Could it be as the scriptures state, she is in error usurping authority over men by preaching.  According to
Genesis 3, this is so.  Also I must check out 2 Corinthians 11:3 and 1 Timothy 2:13-14 to even bring more confirmation from the biblical standpoint.  Also, sister Leverene made a comment about God speaking to her through the scripture of Acts 22:18.  Her description and explanation sounded really valid, but err always reveals its ugly head.  She stated “she saw the scripture as a direct command to her to leave!”  She saw?  Let’s check out 2 Timothy 3:16:

2Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Scripture interprets scripture.  The Word of God speaks for Himself, not what it says to us.  Could that be why she missed all the obvious signs to leave this debauched circus called the City of Refuge?  When we want to see the scripture the way we desire, it can lead us to err.  I don’t say this because I know it all.  I don’t know a thing, I’ve done it myself and said it was Christ “showing me.”  Showing me what?  Exactly!, this is why we must obey the scriptures and not what we think God Almighty is saying?  O how sweet is that of Romans 3:11. 

Is this place a church?

One striking thing about this interview was the mentioning of Noel not wanting to do communion.  How can this be the church of God if the so called bishop is not even willing to honor the remembrance of our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross?  How can you even been a Christian and not speak on such things.  Again, the Holy Scriptures speak to why:

2Peter 2:1  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

This pimp Jones, basically is denying the Lord.  Flat out no getting around it.  To not even desire to have communion is clearly denying the Lord Jesus Christ.  The communion is what we as Christians are to remember that Jesus Christ blood was shed for our sins:

Matthew 26:26-28  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

1 Corinthians 11:23-32  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Where are the strong Godly men?

Other factors that are not shocking are the silhouette of Noel Jones, the man made doctrine of,  “you can do anything while you’re saved”, and the fact the elders did not do anything to remove Noel, shows this place of foolishness is not a church.  Out of those factors I’ve mentioned, the most disturbing one was the last.  When you don’t have Godly elders (or I will say men) stand up and contend for the faith (
Jude 1:3-4), there is no church that can stand.  Looking at the scriptures,  why would Paul admonish his son in the faith, Timothy, to commit the things he heard of Paul to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2).  Or why would Paul say for Timothy to rebuke them that sin openly (1 Timothy 5:20), so that others may fear?  Because when a Godly man stands up, it makes it difficult for us to run into error.

My heart was broken to hear you ask Ms.Greenwood about the elder who was crying because of the foolishness.  Actually several times in the webcast, I heard questions asked about why the men did not do anything.  It saddens us younger men to see such disgrace with men.  As a black male, there is a longing to see a Godly man stand up and take the responsibility as leader.  I would become angry at my father when he would not speak out about the wrong my mother was doing. He would sit there and say absolutely nothing, just as the men of the City of Refuge.  That’s great that they got out of City of Refuge, but why did they not speak out as men of God!  

And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.  For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.  And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.  And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.  But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. (Ezekiel 2:1-10)

This is a great scripture to see why a man of God should take the responsibility of standing up for the truth of Christ.  In the context of  Ezekiel, God is commissioning Ezekiel to a rebellious children of Israel.  So, he is called to a people that are acting a mess, yet the Lord affirms Ezekiel not to be afraid but to fulfill the mission of God.  Now reading the rest of the chapters of Ezekiel, do we not see him obeying the Lord, not being a sissy in confronting that evil house in Israel. 

Why should men of God stand up?  Simple, verse 8 tells us why, to not speak up as a man is to rebel against the Lord.  Ezekiel is called to open his mouth and eat what the Lord was to given him.  Heading down to verse 10 we see that this man of God ate words of lamentation, mourning and woe.  Not such a good thing to tell the people huh?  Neither would it feel good for the men of City of Refuge to stand up and speak what the scripture says against Noel Jones.

The responsibility of being a man of God is heavy duty.  Glory to God, He made it that way (Genesis 2).  Looking at 1 Timothy 3, the qualifications of being a bishop or a deacon involve heavy responsibility.  Is that why the men will not stand up?  Is that why they are afraid?  Then females sometimes feel they can jump in since then male is not standing up for righteousness and truth.  This is error:

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths (Isaiah 3:12)

God is not pleased with the error of men not standing up.  So where are the Godly men?  They are out there, and they are standing up, just apparently not in the building of the City of Refuge.


Can a person lose an anointing?

Upon hearing this question, the mind quickly answers, “no a man of God cannot lose an unction of the Holy Spirit?”  But the real question should be this: What is anointed?”   How should we define that what Laverne sees as being anointed?  Well let’s look at Galatians 5!

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26)

Here we have a clear definition of what is the fruit of the Holy Ghost.  Now if Noel Jones was like this before, why would he all of a sudden turn into a mad man?  Well sister Laverne stated that he would preach the gospel until they had to tell him to stop.  Why would you want to stop an anointed man from preaching the Gospel?  She also mentioned that people were getting saved by the numbers, so what is the proof that they know these people were saved?  Did they show the fruit described in Galatians 5?

This is what takes place when the true Gospel is being preached:

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

Can you see the fruit of the Spirit?  Yes, and it lines up well with Galatians 5.  But what was really taking place with this so called anointing that Noel Jones had?  Quite simple and the lovely Word of God speaks of it.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

See what appeared to be an anointing was just a flicker, it was nothing but a lie.  Of course that is what is taking place in the churches of America. These pimps appear to be so awesome in the Word, but it’s not real Light.  O, I have had them prophecy many lies over my life that sounded like they were anointed only to watch the same pimp try and hit on my own wife!  Yeah, a snake is a snake from the beginning.

Could all this be true and what does this mean to you?

I decided to address these last two questions together.  Yes, all this is true.  What Laverne Greenwood said was no lie.  This mess is happening in churches all around the country.  The most important thing is that what does this mean for me as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?  Well, I ponder through my mind, and examine my motives.  Am I doing what God has called me to do?  Am I being obedient to the scripture?  I must look at myself and began to examine my walk with Christ by the Holy Bible.  There is a responsibility for me as a 30 year old man and father of soon to be three boys, to speak out against unrighteousness in where God calls me and to raise my boys to be men of God.  I, through Christ Jesus alone, must strive not to fade away or detract from Philippians 3:14.  Plain and simple, do what God has called you to do, and don’t whine about it!

I am a little behind with this, but I am interested in learning from the Word of God.  Hopefully I can catch up to Tuesday’s broadcast.  Thank God for the help you have given PJ. In Christ alone,  Karsten Miller   Now I want to post another letter received also this week from a female that heard the interview. . .  Hold On Now, This letter is from a female!!!  

Hey Pastor John,  i just listened to both the Fri web cast interview & Sun web cast.  Wow!!!

Yeah, you keep working.  You are an excellent interviewer - you say a lot without saying anything. 

Can a man who has been anointed lose his anointing?  I believe Ms. Laverne stated Noel Jones was once anointed.  Well that leads me directly to answer the question with a question.  For me that is one of those church folk saying "anointed."  After hearing it being mentioned a few times speaking about a spiritual gain &/or loss - I had to ask myself do I understand what is being said when someone is "anointed."  I did a cursory bible study on the word and came across 2 Cor 1:21-22, as you know I am no theologian but when I read this scripture I would have to answer the question, No I do not believe if a man is anointed by God does he lose the anointing.  It appears to me that when the scripture says "he has set his seal of ownership" - we are assured this is a seal of promise and He keeps his promises.  I believe from my infinitesimal brain that if one can lose the anointing given to them by God - then certainly one can lose their salvation.  Am I making the wrong leap?  Wouldn't an "anointing" be part of the assurance for the perseverance of the saints? I believe spiritual gifts are given to us for the edifying of the saints for the building of the kingdom - so, with that in mind if Christ has given us a gift to build his kingdom and he then decides to remove that gift from us then we will be removed from this world.  Does that make any sense?  I see it like this.  Christ has given you a gift of preaching/teaching when you no longer have the gift of teaching/preaching he will call you from the earthly realm to the heavenly kingdom.

Maybe I am leaping from one bad Lilly pad to another bad Lilly pad. 

So anointed today, anointing lost tomorrow, regained again - that sounds like something from Bewitched.  Remember when Samantha's mother.  If today she liked Darren she would be doing her own thing but tomorrow she may not like what he said or did so she would cast a spell on him and he would no longer be Darren but Derwood and she would turn him into a frog or something.  Or a scene from I Dream of Jeanie - she would bonk her head and blink her eyes and you would have whatever you needed and then maybe later on she would blink her eyes again and remove whatever you were given earlier. 

You also asked, what does this have to do with me?  I think a lot.  I was reminded of something from this web cast.  What will I follow, the testimony of men or the Word.  Be careful not to get swept up in a "movement" - study to show thyself approved a workman that needs not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word.  When listening to the web cast i kept hearing over and again some doctrinal missteps and while she was sharing the erroneous goings on over at the City of Refuge, i kept being reminded that while you are attempting to point out the beam in your brother's eye be aware of the mote in your own eye.  For me, it was like being a JW having the audacity to teach a Mormon and vice-versa neither one of you have a clue about who Jesus the Christ is. 

Something that I found very interesting was your guest often mentioned that what she found most problematic was that the people of the City of Refuge formerly Greater Bethany has allowed permissiveness more so than anything else, I believe was her statement.  Was it not a spirit of permissiveness when the church allowed her to preach from the pulpit - was that not a warning sign? 

I thought it was masterful how you "held back" questions/comments so the guest could feel comfortable because if you would have questioned her understanding of scripture I believe the guest wouldn't have been at ease to be so forthright in her pronouncements. 

Wow! it was one thing for Ms. Laverne to state that the City of Refuge broadcast a DL movie from the sanctuary a movie that probably has no connection to kingdom building but to state that the "bishop" was involved in producing the movie - wow! now if that doesn't open eyes - those are eyes that probably aren't meant to be opened. 

Ms. Laverne has a zeal - but I would say that zeal for a "holiness" - taste not, touch not, do not, is out of context and unless that righteousness will exceed that of the Pharisees . . . Well, thanks for allowing me to share.  Keep plugging away PJ,  Love, Debora Carter / Anselm Bible Church.

My Comments:  I am grateful that I do not have to speak negatively about statements from others alone.  I have taught over many years that error breeds error.  Each of us must stand and give an account to God about those things that are not clear.  My students, friends and fellow Christians are not speaking up for those things which must be stated accurately.  I would like to thank Laverne again for her insights, and I would ask her to read these comments and glean from the biblical passages.  I did not think that I was the only person in the world reading my bible in the correct mannor.  PJ 


Czarina Writes February 2007

Pastor John!  I just read through some of the emails on your page and had to give you an update on my current situation. I originally found your site about a year ago from Pulpit Pimps and listened in at least once a week; sometimes 6. (Remember me from the friends page?) This is the course of about 2 years. From the time relied on myself, to the time I relied on Christ.

My original church in which I got saved was much like the church in Revelation who kept the word of God, but lost their first love. I can honestly say that they didn't teach heresies, but the undercover dealings eventually led to the death of it. After the main pastor died, the assistant pastor moved on to his own church, and so on and so forth. Over time reading the word, getting to know more about proper exegesis and a line by line study, I began to realize all that was wrong with my original church. The more I found out about truly living broken-hearted and meek for the Lord, the worse I felt about my previous behavior and what I thought being a good Christian was. I now see the pride I had. I would constantly compare myself to the other Christians my age. (16-19)

After the church ended, my one on one time with God began. Slowly I began to drift away from the members of the church and became isolated. No ones fault, jus Gods plan. I was alone and in this time really sought to look for the fellowship I longed for. Where was everyone? Christians aren't supposed to feel this lonely. Or so I thought. I now know God placed that emptiness on my heart so that I could learn (the hard way matter of fact) that He truly was all I had. After I acknowledged this in my head God placed it in my heart.

After about a year by myself (spiritually) God began to bring things into the picture that I now know were for my good. I found good websites to learn from. I stumbled across a site that spoke directly on the heretical prosperity teaching and eventually your site. I prayed for study help and it came. I prayed for like-minded Christians to speak with and he granted it to me. I prayed for a church home and literally the last day of the year the Lord heard my prayer and provided a way. I now visit St. Andrews Chapel (not catholic, reformed) headed by R.C. Sproul.

I recently took a trip to see an old friend and fellow youth member of my old church. She is away at college and invited me to visit her. My plan for this trip was to witness to her roommates/buddies there and if anything show them how true believers should behave. To my assumption, my old friend is living as a Christian in word only. Her actions are mirrored of her 'unsaved' counterparts. It was during this time that I prayed to God and he showed me just how far He brought my walk. I now question whether my friend is even saved or not. No fruit; no salvation. Its strong messages like yours and Gods grace that has allowed me to see the road I was on unbeknownst to me. I thank the Lord for that.

So this is a line to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing with RAM Radio. I've tuned in for almost a year and will continue to. It seems more and more people are becoming aware that Christianity is more than just going to church and mans feeble attempts to live righteous. This was just a letter of thanks, so Thanks. God bless,  I cannot thank God enough for the influence that I've had on these young Saints. . . It so reminds me of the many days past when the Vett was full of young Christians that were once excited about listening to nothing less than the word of God.  Pastor John (Loving the note to me)

 This is because of you PJ 

In my pursuit of bible truth I have found that not everyone is so inviting. There is a famine for the true un-diluted word of God in this country. A Scottish man declared that the gospel in America is 3000 miles wide and 2 inches deep. I painfully agree with this statement. Over the years of my saved life I have come up empty through this malnourished watered down gospel that proclaims riches and prosperity. I took a long sad ride on this gospel and experienced some minor benefits but over all, just high hopes and declarations. I longed for the real thing. I desired more than just programs, singing, feel good preaching, anniversaries and revivals. As I began to look closely at the activities of the church I began to feel angry. The children sang real good, they passed out envelopes for offerings, we jumped and shouted the victory but that was just surface stuff with no power. We had a so called witnessing program that consisted of the members going out to different locations and inviting people to church. I grew weary with this practice due to it not aligning with scripture. I sometimes even felt skeptical of inviting people to my church. What was wrong with me? Why all of a sudden what used to work for me, now no longer worked. Instead, I became grieved with those things I used to invite. Was I falling away? Was I rebelling against the pastor or even God? I began to search within myself and examine what it was that I was going through. I went to scripture and began to compare what we were doing in the church with scripture. The comparison was terrible! We were so far from what the scriptures taught. Instead of worshipping Jesus, we were worshipping church programs and religion. We spent thousands of dollars on paying visiting preachers while we had able ministers right in the congregation. I was in charge of the tape ministry which charged people five dollars for a copy of the teaching of Gods word which was totally against scripture. Our church which was predominately black, unified with another denomination which was mostly white. This new merging according to the pastor was from God and would assist in the breaking down of the division between black and white Christians. This seemed pretty alright with me but there were some things that just didn't seem right. Whenever the pastor would talk about our new affiliation there was always a mention of the BENEFITS of this new union. Benefits such as, life insurance for ministers, the ability to borrow MONEY from the conference, the possibility of getting a new church building and so forth and so on. I never heard anything about how on fire these people were for the truth of Gods word or their commitment to the leading of the Holy Spirit. All I would hear was money this and money that. This bothered me but I never said anything. I wondered that if these people did not have money or big buildings, would we be so anxious to join forces with them. I began to question everything that I ever been taught. One time at a men's fellowship meeting, one of the ministers referred to the ministry as being a business. This really bothered me and I spoke out against that statement. This really helped to open my eyes to what was going on. My church had become a part of the new age church which practices the marketing techniques of the world in order to attract sinners. We became money, building and program oriented in an attempt to "win the lost at any cost". The apparent question for me was...." isn't the word of God still powerful to save?" Why do we have to resort to the methods of the world in order to reach the lost? Jesus preached "repent. for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". The disciples preached Christ alone, without basketball games and talent shows in order to ATTRACT sinners. Another thing that was being taught as a principal doctrine was tithing. People were taught that if they did not give 10% of their income then they were cursed. I studied the topic of tithing in the scriptures and found that doctrine to be false. I approached the pastor and other ministers concerning this teaching and the ministers dared not to challenge me on this. The pastor on the other hand challenged me by saying that food was the primary source of sustenance in the old testament but today- money is our sustenance. I told him that food is still what sustains us today and that tithing had nothing to do with money in the old testament. He grew angry and told me to find a church that did not tithe and go there. Well, needless to say, I left! Thanks to God and pastor John, I have started teaching my family out of our home. There is no scripture in the bible anywhere that says that I should become a member of any church. Don't get me wrong, I long for fellowship and I believe in attending church meetings but only if the whole truth of the word is being taught. My dear black men and brothers in the gospel....get your families and get out of these money driven cults. Teach your families the truth of Gods word at home until the Lord provides somewhere for you to fellowship and learn. The Holy Spirit is still our teacher and guide. Pastor John, if you don't mind I would love to connect with some of the brothers that write to you. I read their letters and I burn inside for them. I know what their dealing with and I would like to keep in contact with them. One of the things that I've found out since leaving the apostate church that I was in is that I get lonely. It's hard to find believers here in my area that believe in "Sola Scriptura". Shawn Scott Snowhill, NC   February 2007  Shawn would love to be in contact with many of you that have had experiences.  He has offered to place his e-mail address next to the article.  I think it would be best for you to request his address and then I would send it to you.  That way there would be no public email scandal on the behalf of anyone.  Sounds good to me!!!


More Letters Below!!!

                    A Letter To Pastor John / From Jeff Harley

Pastor Coleman,  Happy New Year!! You are such a blessing. I apologize for just getting back to you, but I had a very bad case of the flu and I literally have been in the bed for thewhole month of January. However, we did receive the Introductory DVD package, and my sickness allowed me to watch the lesson over and over again, which I did because I am so excited.  I don't know where to start, but I will be calling you when I get my voice back completely. You stated so many things that are true. Especially that in the Black community we don't strive to study the word of God diligently.  My Grandfather always said to me when I was younger that if you want to hide something from a Black man then put it in a book. They were from South Carolina and he said that is why the white people always hid their money in books, so if a black man tried to rob their house then the black man would never find their money if they put it in a book. Therefore he said try to read as much as possible, and study everything!! I was always frustrated in the churches that we attended because they tried to discourage you from wanting to go to a Bible school, as a matter of fact one of my Pastors said that he had a Masters in theology and none of what he learned he in seminary helped him to cast out a demon or heal the sick, but I said what about doctrine? He literally said what Fred Price said on the clip you showed. Anyhow I don't want to take up to much of your e-mail space. I am truly excited, my wife is as well. When you talked about being a five point Calvinist I showed he one of the R.C. Sproul programs that I tape everyday from his TV. show called, "Renewing the Mind". Doctor Sproul was talking about the five points of Calvinism, and I had never heard of this before until I watched your DVD. I tape and watch his show everyday along with John McArthur. We laughed because we usually fall asleep during their programs, and you talked about studying the word being a "Discipline" and not sleeping. It goes to show you how our minds have been trained in the black church that if we are not being entertained then we are "bored" and the church is not on "fire"!! What a farce, but also what shame all of the souls that are being deceived. Anyhow we are in the process of buying some of the books you mentioned, and I am going to order the McArthur Bible NASB version so that when we start the DVD classes with you we will be on one accord with what you are teaching from. Let me know if you are finished ret aping the DVD series?  If you are prepared and we look forward to studying the Truth of Gods Word with you!! Let's get INTO THE WORD!!!!!!! Grace and Peace Pastor Coleman and God bless you!!!!!!!!     

What can I say except PRAISE THE LORD!!!  I am so full of joy right now with how GOD is using you to bring forth His Holy Word in a bold, uncompromising, and relevant manner.  Here is a copy of an e-mail that I sent to some dear sisters in Christ: 

“By the Grace of GOD, I happened upon these two sites and have been up (literally) for days (well into the wee hours of the morning) reading and studying its content.  The gentlemen represented on these two sites are an absolute GOD-send.  The information has really captivated my spirit and I feel that GOD’S Holy Spirit directed me to these two sites for deliverance as well as confirmation.  I had been dealing with a lot of frustration regarding the state of the church and the spiritual and financial bondage that seems so prevalent.  The information contained in the websites is uncompromising, bold, and so relevant to the state of Christianity today—especially in the Black community.  If you feel led by The Holy Spirit, then please pass this information on.  The false teachings must end and sound doctrine must begin.”  Enjoy and be Blessed! Love Julia  Julie then gave the web addresses to Melvin Jones Pulpit Pimps and My site address: 

Pastor Coleman, a heavy burden have been lifted from my heart.  As I continue to witness women being taken advantage of by these “pulpit pimps” it has brought a great deal of sadness and frustration.  I am a praying woman and always wondered if GOD even cared about this fleecing and false hope/false sense of security.  It grieved my heart aplenty because I perceived that GOD just didn’t care.  Then, by GOD’s Grace, I was led to your site and I rejoice because my prayers were already answered.  GOD always cared and He still has a remnant that is not afraid to stand on the infallible Word of GOD.  To know that there are true Christian Men out there that have taken a special interest in the fleecing of well-meaning Saints of GOD is an absolute GOD-send.  It is absolutely disturbing to my soul what has transpired within the Black church community.  As GOD continues to use you mightily, I will continue to spread the word about these websites that GOD is utilizing to get out His perfect truth.  Pastor Coleman, I know that you don’t take offerings.  However, this work must continue and it takes finances to ensure that this truth continues spread.  I don’t have a lot to offer.  Yet, it would bring me much joy to simply bless your ministry with a free-will offering so that the work of the Lord may continue.  GOD has used you to Bless me and I am sure that there are others out there that need to read and study the information that GOD has brought forth through you.  My only motive is to support GOD’s work through you.  Take care and GOD Bless you Brother,  Sis. Julia A. Lyons  


Hello Pastor Coleman,  GOD bless you and the many lives that have been changed by allowing GOD to use you. I wrote you awhile back and I thank you for your response. Every since I have ran across your website and Melvin and G. Craig things have been a lot different for me. It feels like the movie Matrix. I writing the letter because GOD being my witness I don't know where to turn. I feel very isolated from the people I hold very near to me. It is because I don't attend the as regularly. Most Of the people that know me because I was always there. I believe that they think that I have fell away from GOD but nowadays I don't know what to feel anymore. You see Pastor Coleman you do not know anything about me at all and I have seen people that love to dump all their problems on people. I hold things inside and know I talk about them. I go back to this church because I don't have any other church home and my wife and kids attend the church. But every time I go there, I don't like being there. Most people may say that I don't like listening to the truth being preached but if that were the case then websites like yours and Melvin wouldn't have came to my attention when I desperately needed them. Now I'm like a Jonah because I have a call to preach the gospel as my pastor and wife have said and dreams I have had when I did not know anything about the bible or the life of a Christian. My life has been turned upside down because I hope that I have not made a mistake. When I showed some of the clips on Melvin website to a person that I care about deeply she said that I had a problem with leadership, when I attend a service for some strange reason, at some point of the message I will hear how knowledge can make you arrogant and what the bible says that the anointing flow down from Aaron beard and that is how it works in the church. Now I have learn something about what is a being taught I had shared something's with people and in men meetings and now I feel the cold shoulder, This all started when I really started to read the bible and actually study what was meant by certain scripture. I had no attentions of arguing GOD words but That is what is being labeled. You see pastor for me it seems to have got worse because I feel alone. I was tired of going to church and being churched and not having my life changed, I was tired of feeling that GOD hated me because I have not help the church get out of debt, for some people talking like this is a touchy subject but all I want is answers. How much authority does pastor really have on a person life? I know that when people have question like this that it may be a indication of that person not liking authority but that is not me. I want to feel free to ask question like this without feeling like some kind of demon-possessed rebellious backslider. I know that the Lord hear and see all but brother Coleman I feel like have let GOD down and my wife would put the church before she would ever hear me out. I know she tells the pastor about what I'm going but Me and the pastor and his wife were really close. I don't believe that they're are bad people but I believe the teaching which was COGIC was not all scripturally correct. They are not in COGIC anymore but are under a pastor from Sacramento and that pastor is affiliated with Fred Price. Change the name from community to international when we have not done that much to help the community that we are in. I take some blame for this because I was not what Christian in the Bible were like. I actually isolated myself from non believer think that was the church folk is supposed to be. I want to be a real Christian and I know that I can't be that in the present state that I'm in. I attend church, my prayer life has suffered, my studying habit has dwindle because I didn't want feel like I was being some egghead Christian.    Like I said before you don't know me and there is always another side to the story but my heart is what I type to you and I want to be in a ministry that is making me a better servant of Christ and not a building. I want to be in a ministry not by fear but by reverence for GOD and love for him. I wasn't to have enough courage to talk to them not that I'm afraid but I don't want to get angered and I want it discussed like adult and not arguing GOD word.   Thank you very much and I hope I don't sound like a down and out loser but I want to feel GOD again.  Please keep my brother lifted up in prayer!

A Recent Letter:  Hi Pastor John,

I stumbled across your site tonight and you have an awesome site!!!  I consider myself an apologist and it's nice to know there are people out there who stand on the Word of God and believe it; as well as those who are not afraid to speak the truth in love!!!  You will be in my prayers!!!  Greetings from Omaha, Nebraska;  Your Puerto Rican Brother from NYC now living in Nebraska! :) Judges 6:12..."The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior..."  Miguel Soto

Another Recent Letter:

Hello Pastor Coleman my name is Brandon Pitts from San Antonio Texas. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I got saved my freshmen year in college back in 2003 and the Lord filled me with His Spirit in the summer of 2005 going into my senior year. Now I just recently graduated this past May of 2006. 
  I check out your website all the time and have long agreed with what your saying before the Lord showed me your website. And I just wanted to encourage you to keep on speaking because there were those people who turned away from Christ also and stopped listening. But NOT all turned away, as Christ asks if they(12 disciples) were going to leave Him to?? Like Peter answered we also answer "Lord were we would go you hold the keys to eternal life." So people that want the truth here the truth because the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to those who seek the truth.
Brother I know how it can get lonely sometimes, I feel the way same way at times. But stay strong and I will be praying for you, even us young one's are doing what your doing and we have gotten rebuked from some Christians. We can't let them stop us because there is someone else who needs and wants to the here truth and are not happy in their current position spiritual nor physical (Saved and Unsaved). So brother, remember what Paul said as the Holy Spirit spoke through him in Philippians and press on and encourage yourself in the Lord. 
Sincerely your little brother in Christ
Brandon P.S. Hope this helps  It does Brandon!  God bless you and thanks for writing to me.


A Listener Writes This Week:  July 2006

Hi Pastor Coleman,

I heard you for the first time on Dean Gocher's program recently and enjoyed your conversation with him very much.  Yesterday, I visited your website and browsed around.  It was wonderful to see pictures of you and your lovely wife of so many years.  That's a Guinness Book record these days, to say the least.
Thank you for sharing the preaching tape of Dr. R.G. Lee.  Wow! Indeed, we don't hear preaching like that today.... and what a shame that is so true.  Even after so many years having past, the fire of the Holy Spirit's anointing still remains on that tape.  I tell you I was glued to my seat and totally engaged as well as exceptionally edified. 
Can copies be gotten in MP3 format?  I have my closest friend, an Indian national and missionary of many years in South Bangalore, India, who would just thrill to hear such preaching.  I could email it to him.  As you may know there is much persecution going on over there.  I have remained very close to him, his wife and family for over 15 years.  He will be fully delighted to know of your website.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much I rejoiced to know there are still zealous, biblically motivated and postured servants of the Lord out there in these last days.  And of course, because of your stance on the Truth, which so few can hear in these times, you are always going to be misunderstood, except by those who love the Truth and thereby love Jesus and are living just for His glory and praise.
You are reaching out to many in great bondage and a number have been appointed to salvation, so do continue.  I find you to be a gallant and obedient soldier of Christ, who follows the orders of the Book.  The Lord holds the highest place in your heart and that is clearly discerned.
So I didn't write to flatter you but to attest to the stature of Christ that came through your sharing with Brother Dean as well as what comes across from your website, writings and your speaking.
I pray the Lord enables you to continue on this extremely narrow path we are all traversing on and so blessed to carry with us the Lamp unto our feet, the Word of God.  I truly find your life a living testimony and a strong encouragement to my own life-walk with Jesus.
Have a wonderful day today in His light.
Your brother in Christ,  Michael


Hi, Pastor John: 

Thank you for your kind words. I will be sure to go on your site and read your article.   

A few months ago I was asked by a friend whom I've known for years, a woman, to come and speak before the ladies group at the church where she is a member.  I had done it in the past so it was no problem for me.  She said she'd send me a letter outlining the topic to be discussed in the workshop.  Well, about a week later I received her letter and I was "dumbstruck!"  At the bottom of the letter, she signed her name, "Rev. so and so."    I immediately called her and asked for "clarification."  She then told me she had been "called to preach and had been ordained."  It seemed their "former" pastor, a man, had become ill and could no longer function and had stepped down.  Since the church was "predominately" women, "they" voted another woman in as pastor and the "new" pastor had ordained her and a few other women.  Needless to say, I advised her I could not be a part of their workshop.   

She began to give me all the "usual" biblical texts (out of context) why a woman can preach and pastor a church.  She took me to the famous Deborah text, the famous, "'there is neither male or female..." text, the famous "God used a donkey" text, the "4 daughters of Philip who were "prophestess" text.  After I explained what these scriptures meant in their context, God's design and role for women, and then taking her to the I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 text, she still insists she was "called" of  God to preach and the other ladies who are "anointed" have also been called to preach and pastor.  I was threw with it. 

Women, in this time and culture, have some tremendous problems-emotionally and spiritually.  And it's basically a spiritual problem.  We will not "bow" to the authority of God or HIs Word.  We will not submit to God's Word.  Many women are in open rebellion against God, totally deluded into believing they are "God's Women."   

I did a workshop at another church in the city, a well known traditional Black Baptist Church in Los Angeles.  The workshop was for the Women's Ministry of the church and the question about women pastors came up.  I dealt with it.  The pastor and a few elders were sitting in the back of the room.  I had no problem with it.  Some of the women in attendance didn't like what I was saying.  It didn't matter.  They don't like what God says.  But after the session ended, the elders came up to me to "thank" me for "telling it like it is."  One elder said, "I've never, never, never heard a woman talk up and against female pastors like that."  My response to him, "I'm praying you, too, will speak out boldly against female pastors!"  I left it like that. 

You keep doing what you're doing and I will keep doing what I'm doing.  May the Lord cause His face to shine on us both.  Take care, Norma Brown 

Mr. Coleman,

I am shocked that you would post the information about Pastor Creflo Dollars on your website.  What's even more shocking is that you call him a pimp.  Shame on you and you call yourself a Pastor.  How can you call an annointed man of God a pimp.  He has been chosen by God to teach on Prosperity.  That's his ministry.

Just because you don't agree with his teaching doesn't justify you blastin him like that.  Pastor Dollar teaches on the laws of money and how to
prosper God's way.  He always talks about he doesn't need our money because
God will provide.  He is obviously doing something right because God has prospered his ministry.  Everything he teaches lines up with the word.  Prosperity is more than money.  He wants God people to prosper in all areas
of their life not just financially.  He wants people to prosper to help build the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught about in Matthew about of the sower.   It's nothing wrong with sowing into this ministry and giving unto a good  work.

So is Pastor TD Jakes, Pastor Randy & Paula White, Biship McCleandon wrong  because they ask for money.  It takes money to help build God's kingdom.  It takes money to feed and cloth the homeless.  It takes money to build homes and orphanages for people.  So tell me what are you doing besides slammin other Pastors?

It's none of our business what these Pastors do with the money that comes in.  God will judge that.  God know if the money is being mishandled.  Who are we to judge?  Instead of slammin the brotha what you need to do is pray
for him if you think he's leading people astray.  Get's God direction.  You blastin him on your website isn't God.  You raisin up mouth against him isn't God.  There is nothing wrong with his teaching.  I've listened to it, have been
blessed by it, I've applied it and it lines up with the word.  I wouldn't sow a penny into your Ministry because you have Integrity/Value issues.  I'm going to forward this email over to Creflo Dollars Ministries so they can pray that your eyes may be open and your mouth shut.

I did not change anything in the letter to me.  I just thought that you might want to see this saints.  There are many people out there somewhere over the rainbow, seeking to know truth through means of prosperity.  Yes, I am "blastin and jammin the so called brother in order that many of the readers and listeners might no longer support false doctrine.  Oh what a joy to be able to receive these letters, and ten to display them for the real church to take a look at and then to JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.  jec

Pastor John,

I am curious to know how you are feeling about this.  It puts a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.  I would like to respond out of outrage or disgust but I am not sure that you would want me to do so.  I am sorry I haven't been in touch with you for a while.  Been dealing with some serious demons of my own.  Still struggling a little bit but getting better.  Let me know how you are and how you are taking this.  I do not like the way this letter is worded at all.  NO aplogies at all that I can see.  After how many years of funding their station and providing God's essential word to the so many that need it.  Myself I would be beyond myself.  I believe that you should at least have received a phone call, some warning, and an apology and explanation.  To me that only seems fair. 
You don't know what an inspiration you have been to me in my outreach efforts and keeping my web-site alive.  I consider you a friend, although we have never met, I feel your heart and know it is a good one.  You are the kind of Pastor that tells it like it is.   Not many brave enough to take that stance.  I pray this does not discourage you but strengthens you and leads you to a better and further reaching station.  I don't understand why God moves the way he does.  I believe he continally is refining us for that promise that we anticipate.  I also believe that powerful crusaders, such as yourself, are under the constant attack of Satan's vicious and deceptive attacks.   
This situation seems unpleasant to me and if it is bothersome to you, as is my thinking, I will be praying for strength, guidance, reassurance and encouragement thru this trialsome time.  Please respond at your convenience so I can better understand your feelings on this.  I would love to blow off a little steam on this Earl guy.  I do not like the disrespect in how he handled this.  To disrupt your ministry of, I don't know how many years, with such a blunt and distasteful letter sickens me to the core.  I will use my best Christian discernment in writing this man, if it is your wish, that we as your fans do so.  I will tell him how I feel about this in as tactful a manner as possible.  I do not like this cowardly e-mail way of him handling this. 
Don't lose the faith Pastor John.  Lots of people depend on you.  I know they do without even meeting you but just by visiting your web-site occasionally and reading your messages.  You are an instrument of God if I have ever seen one.  The path you have chosen is one of the toughest to stay on yet you have remained steadfast in the face of many tough issues where other pastors would have thrown in the towel. 
If it means anything to you, you have always had my utmost respect, trust and love as a brother in Jesus.  Please keep me updated as I will look for updates on your web-site.  You do not have to respond immediately.  I am sure there will be a lot of mail similar to mine in your box.  I will pray that this leads you to a more productive ministry whatever it is God has in His divine plan for you.   Keep the faith my friend.  I know that is easy to say when it is not me that has to go thru this but I know that you are truly a Godly man and receptive of any words that come from His children. 
Glad to have gotten to know you the way that we did.  I treasure you as a distant friend and encourager of my ministry and objectives.  You are in the prayers of many as you are reading this, mine included.  I truly believe that God has something so big for you, lying ahead, that you cannot anticipate it.  He will redirect the funding that you have provided this radio station faithfully for so many years and put it to a use you had never anticipated.  All in His time!  He is just sharpening your sword a little more preparing you for the future of this country and the trials that many of will face in the days ahead.  I hope to hear from you and that you tell me that you are relieved to be doing business with this radio station and do have bigger doors opening up for you.  I pray you are not discouraged as I am feeling about this, that my feelings are inaccurate and this is a relief to you.  When you get time, let me know please. 
Praying hard for you in the state of Wisconsin.
Friends always,
Steve Thanks Steve. . . I am blessed in the Lord, waiting for another op to tell the truth to His people.  Pastor John


 May 2004  _The Long March Through Christendom:

Evidences of Cultural Marxist Methodology in Evangelic Christianity.

 Larry Dozier 

Nothing could seem more American than a wholesome afternoon spent at church, fellowshipping with those who share a common belief of God. Next to mom, apple pie and baseball, church is an institution in American society. To suggest that most evangelical Christian churches had been infiltrated by Marxism might sound ludicrous. To propose that many churches are using Marxist methodology to achieve their goals might sound almost insane.  Nevertheless, this is the case. 

Prior to 1987, there was a clearly accepted delineation between two opposing worlds. East of the Berlin Wall was the world of soviet Marxism. West of the wall was capitalism. The wall existed, not only as a simple geographic boundary, but as a philosophic demarcation as well. 

When the wall fell, a collective sigh of relief was heard coming from the west. No longer would the theories of Marx and Engels threaten the free and open society of capitalism. The enemy had fallen, and Marxism was, undeniably, dead.   Unbeknownst to many, Marxism was still alive and healthy. Soviet style Marxism may have collapsed. Cultural Marxism, however, was doing very well.  Cultural Marxism began in 1899 when Eduard Bernstein published 'Evolutionary Socialism', a treatise advocating an evolution into communism, as opposed to revolution. A schism soon arose between the classic Marxists, who believed that violent revolution was necessary to effect societal change, and the Social Democrats, who favored more peaceful means.   An early Hegelian Marxist who agreed with Bernstein was Antonio Gramsci.  Antonio Gramsci was the founder of the Italian Communist Party, and one of the most prominent Marxist writers of the early 1900's. 

Gramsci believed that a frontal attack on modern industrial democracies would be futile. He observed that modern industrial societies were governed by the consent of the populace, and argued that consent was produced by the cultural institutions of a society, such as schools, churches, newspapers, arts and entertainment. Gramsci believed that control of a country could be achieved by gaining control of its culture. Social change, he believed, was best accomplished by "the long march through the institutions." To achieve this, Gramsci proposed a 3 step plan:  First, existing institutions, values and norms must be de-legitimized. Second, the institutions of a society must be infiltrated and controlled. Third, alternative institutions and values were to be created.  Gramsci was heavily influenced by Hegel, a German philosopher, who believed that change occurred when there was conflict between opposing views. In Hegel's opinion, change could be brought about when a thesis and an antithesis collided, producing a synthesis.

Frank Schallow describes the dialectic like this:  "From its inception, Hegel's dialectic has continually been the brunt of attempts to modify, improve, and revamp it. These revisions began with Marx's dialectical materialism and later gathered momentum through the efforts of critical theorists who adjust for the initial "materialist" slant, compensating for the overcompensation...


In its elemental form, the dialectic instills patterns of organization within the chaos of experience, channeling the creative forces into higher levels of development and ultimately capturing them within a circuit of mediation. In radically siding with otherness, imagination does not introduce another stance of identity, which can in turn be negated at a subsequent stage of the dialectic. Rather, imagination stands as the most extreme emissary of otherness, occupying a place prior to the inception of dialectic in its effort to mediate opposites within the unity of the Absolute. 1

 A simplistic example of this is to imagine two boys walking into a pet store. They have only enough money to buy one puppy, which they will share between them. The first boy is absolutely convinced that a German Shepard would be the best breed to purchase. This is his thesis. The second boy, however, introduces an antithesis by strongly favoring the purchase of a beagle. Stress is introduced to the relationship due to the opposing viewpoints, and a vigorous debate follows. Because the boys are strongly motivated to retain some harmony in their relationship, they eventually come to a synthesis of opinion, and walk out of the store with a beautiful Labrador retriever, each boy convinced that they purchased the best puppy in the store. 

Gramsci believed that Hegel’s dialectic could be put into practice in order to bring about social change.2 Gramsci coined the term "Praxis", which he explained as being a combination of social theory and practice.  Building on Gramsci's work was the Institute for Social Research.

 The Institute for Social Research, also known as The Frankfurt School, was founded in 1924 to provide a forum for discussing communism which was outside of the control of the Communist Party.  The Institute’s members, Herbert Marcuse, Eric Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Wilhelm Reich, and others, believed that they could combine Marxism and psychology in a way which would cause social change.3


"Historically, Antonio Gramsci's thought shares features with other writers who are classified as "Hegelian Marxists" -- the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs, the German thinker Karl Korsch, and members of the "Frankfurt School" (e.g., Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse), a group of theorists associated with the Institute for Social Research founded in Frankfurt, Germany in the 1920s, some of whom attempted to synthesize the thinking of Marx and Freud. All emphasized that the decisive struggle to overthrow the bourgeois regime (that is, middle-class liberal democracy) would be fought out at the level of consciousness. That is, the old order had to be rejected by its citizens intellectually and morally before any real transfer of power to the subordinate groups could be achieved.“4

In 1933, when Hitler came to power, the members of the institute fled to the United States, and the Institute was re-created in New York.   Jay Martin, in his book, describes how the relocation came about:

"Over the years, the Institut had made several contacts with prominent figures — in the American academic world, such as Charles Beard, Robert MacIver, Wesley Mitchell, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Robert Lynd, all of whom were at Columbia University. Thus when Horkheimer made his first trip to the United States in May, 1934, he was able to gain access to Columbia's patriarchal president, Nicholas Murray Butler. Much to his surprise, Butler offered the Institut about affiliation with the university and a home in one of its buildings, at 9 West 117th Street. Horkheimer, fearing he had misunderstood Butler because of his limited command of English, wrote a four-page letter asking him to confirm and clarify his offer. Butler's response was a laconic "You have understood me perfectly!" And so the International Institute for Social Research, as revolutionary and Marxist as it had appeared in Frankfurt in the twenties, came to settle in the center of the capitalist world, New York City." 5


The members of the Institute found a warm welcome in American academia, and many went on to hold prominent university positions.


Eric Fromm, the internationally renowned psychologist and humanistic philosopher, began his teaching career at Columbia University soon after fleeing from Germany. Fromm had a significant impact on modern psychology. His philosophical writings were largely critical of authoritarian value systems.

 Herbert Marcuse, after a short stint with the OSS, also taught at Columbia University, as well as Harvard during the 1950's. In 1958, he began teaching at Brandeis University, where he was professor of philosophy and politics. Marcuse was credited with coining the phrase 'Make love, not war' during the Vietnam War. In 1965 He accepted a position with the University of California San Diego. Marcuse's critiques of capitalist society were popular with the leftist student movement of the sixties, and he became known as the "father of the new left". Throughout his life, Marcuse identified himself as a socialist, a Marxist, and a Hegelian. Kurt Lewin and Abraham Maslow became famous for their work in group dynamics.  Lewin, dubbed 'the father of sensitivity training’, taught first at the Cornell School of Home Economics, then at the University of Iowa. While teaching at the University of Iowa, he undertook research for the US Military related to troop Morale, and changing the eating habits of civilians away from foods in short supply. During his research, Lewin found that housewives could be more effectively persuaded to purchase certain foods when placed in small discussion groups than when lectured to.

 Lewin believed that it was the strong psychological motivation to belong to the group which accounted for the dramatic change brought about in these housewives. Lewin’s Field Theory proposed that "human behavior is the function of both the person and the environment: expressed in symbolic terms, B = f (P, E)".6 By changing the environment of a group setting, you could change the behavior of individual members. The bulk of Lewin's research involved practical experimentation in effecting change through small groups. 

Lewin later founded National Training Laboratories, where he perfected Group Dynamics, using T-Groups. His experience with T-groups showed him that after a group had been brought to a new level of change, the group would slowly settle back to its initial level. To prevent this, he developed a three step technique which is eerily parallel to Gramsci's three step formula for cultural subjugation. 

"A successful change includes therefore three aspects: unfreezing (if necessary) the present level . . . moving to the new level . . . and freezing group life on the new level." 7

In essence, group dynamics is peer pressure on steroids. Small groups are led dialectically by a facilitator who manipulates the environment of the group to achieve a predetermined goal. This is accomplished by introducing tension, or conflict, into the group, and allowing the group to dialogue toward a reconciliation, or synthesis, of the conflict. Using the inherent desire of individuals to 'belong', a skilled facilitator can achieve incredible change in an individual’s behavior. Because the group member believes that he was intimately involved in the group's progress, he is more likely to embrace the group consensus and exhibit behavioral and attitudinal change. Resistance to change is broken down by an individual’s fear of being ostracized by the group. 

"If the individual should try to diverge “too much” from group standards, he would find himself in increasing difficulties. He would be ridiculed, treated severely and finally ousted from the group. Most individuals, therefore, stay pretty close to the standard of the groups they belong to or wish to belong to. In other words, the group level itself acquires value. It becomes a positive valence corresponding to a central force field with the... [forces] keeping the individual in line with the standards of the group." 8

 Lewin, who died in 1947, had a profound effect on modern psychology's understanding of how to effect change in individuals through the use of groups. 

"It is difficult to assess fully the great impact that, Lewin's work had on social psychology; Lewis Coser observed that, in less than a decade at the University of Iowa, Lewin "raised a whole generation of social psychologists who were to dominate the field for several decades" (Coser, 1984, p. 25)." 9


Lewin's methods and techniques have found their way into many facets of American life. Social psychology, group therapy, sensitivity training, conflict resolution, Total Quality management and Outcome Based Education are all built upon the foundation laid by Lewin's Group Dynamics, and all use some flavor of the dialectic process. 

Surprisingly, the dialectic process, developed and refined in a steady progression from Hegel to Lewin, has found its way into much of the Christian world.  It first surfaced with theologians like Paul Tillich, who sought to redefine theology as a fusion of culture and religion. Tillich say's

"It is therefore the task of theology, working from a concrete standpoint, to draw up a normative system of religion based on the categories of philosophy of religion, with the individual standpoint being related to the standpoint of the respective confession, the universal history of religion, and the cultural-historical standpoint in general. This is no hidden rationalism, for it recognizes the concrete religious standpoint. Nor is it hidden supernaturalism, such as may still be found even in our historical-critical school of thought, for it is the breaking down of all the authoritarian limitations upon the individual standpoint by means of a philosophy of history. It is oriented to Nietzsche’s notion of the "creative" on the basis of Hegel’s concept of "objective-historical spirit" 10

 The dialectic may also be seen at work in "Christian Psychology", which often embraces the social psychology of Lewin. It is common to find small encounter groups in many churches which address any number of issues, from divorce to addiction. The focus is placed upon the therapeutic value of shared feelings. In many ways, the church has come to see psychology as a competitor for providing salve to wounded souls, and strategically pre-empted the social psychology industry by adopting group therapy techniques and counseling.

David Fitch observes: 

"In the past, Evangelical Christians have gone to the 'preaching of God's word for conviction, correction, repentance, direction and change. Preaching is 'good for the soul'. But now it appears that counseling has taken over many of these functions. It is in counseling that we locate, understand and take responsibility for our dysfunctions and make commitments to change. In some sense, then psychology and preaching are engaged in a turf war in the American Christian church." 11

Christian psychologists argue that by fusing scripture with psychology and its methodology, you develop a tool which is more powerful than biblical preaching alone. The problem with this is that psychology and Christianity espouse diametrically opposing views, and cannot be combined except through a Hegelian synthesis. Psychology begins with the premise that an individual is basically good, marred only by external factors, while Christianity teaches that man is, in his natural state, and depraved whose only hope of goodness comes from a transforming encounter with Jesus Christ.  In order to employ these opposing views, they must be dialectically synthesized to resolve the two, resulting in something which isn't quite psychology, and isn't quite Christian. 

Psychology has also made its way behind the pulpit, with sermons becoming a strange mixture of scripture and psychology. Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, a 'mega-church' in Chicago, and a leader of the Church Growth Movement, states that "a significant amount of weekend message content comes from psychology". 12

 Willow Creek has long been a proponent of using small groups for evangelism. Gary Poole, the Director of evangelism at Willow Creek, wrote a book entitled Seeker Small Groups detailing the advantages and methodology of small group evangelism. While his zeal for evangelism is laudable, his methods correspond directly to Lewin's Group Dynamics.  Social psychologists stress the need for a 'safe and no-threatening' environment for groups to meet in, an environment where individuals are more likely to risk vulnerability. Poole agrees: 

"The first distinct advantage of a seeker small group is that it's a very safe place. Seekers can investigate the claims of Christianity at their own pace. They are accepted no matter where they are in their spiritual journeys. There is no judgment, only a spirit of acceptance...The goal of this safe place is to provide an invitation, opportunity, and environment for seekers to openly express their thoughts and feelings, to voice their observations and questions, and even to go so far as to assert their objections - all without inhibition or any fear of criticism." 13 

Lewin's unfreezing stage often consists of icebreakers where the individual begins to lose their individuality and join the group. Poole also suggests beginning with an icebreaker:

"Next comes a pivotal transition in your group discussion, when you should move your group from light-hearted interaction to one of greater significance. This can be accomplished with what I call a 'transition icebreaker...It's a tool to assist you in turning the corner with your group and getting more focused on the topic you want to discuss." 14

Poole's unfreezing 'ice breaker' allows all of the participants to establish a personal thesis by asking them "If you could ask God one question you knew he could answer right, what would it be?” 15 While this sounds innocent enough, Poole is actually drawing out the participants, and subtly inviting them to voice their objections to the concept of God.  Next in the Lewinian model is the 'moving to the new level' phase, which is accomplished by introducing tension into the group. Poole is right on time with this phase: 

"Inform the group that before you wrap things up, you'd like to get their knee-jerk reaction to some verses you read aloud from the Bible." 16

 By introducing scripture to a group of non-believers, Poole has just introduced an antithesis, and created stress in the group dynamic. The individual members, who are either ambivalent to, ignorant of, or critical of the Bible, now have a conflict to wrestle with. As a skilled facilitator, Poole leads them into a group dialogue:

 "After they hear the passage, ask them what it means to them or what stood out or how it impacts them. Again, there are no 'wrong' responses here." 17

 Finally, Poole 'freezes' the group at its new level by asking the group to decide if they wish to meet again and if so, to commit to a certain number of meetings. Poole explains the rational of this exercise: 

"This is a very important exercise for the group, because it transfers ownership from you to have given them greater ownership, and their commitment to the group will be much stronger. High ownership is crucial to the successful launch of your group..." 18

Throughout the process, Poole refuses to teach, lecture, or answer questions directly, forcing the group members to learn through the dialectic process.  Willow Creek is not the only mega-church to use small, dialectic groups.   Rick Warren's Saddleback Community Church in Los Angeles has a weekly attendance of over 15,000 people. Warren encourages his parishioners to join one of the thousands of small groups hosted by the church. Warren explains the rationale for using small groups as being "the most effective way of closing the back door"19 of the church by entangling parishioners in relationships they would hesitate to leave. While this may happen naturally in many churches, at Saddleback it is a calculated manipulation technique using the group dynamics explained by Lewin.  Many of the groups at saddleback take on a distinct group therapy flavor:

"Many of our support groups are related to providing support for and fellowship during a specific stage of life, such as new parents, college students, or empty nesters. Others deal with healing specific hurts encountered by those who have lost a mate by death or divorce. We also have a full menu of recovery groups." 20

 The smorgasbord of support groups found at Saddleback and other mega-churches was enough to prompt The Economist, in an article tellingly entitled Therapy of the masses, to state that "American churches are therapeutic, not judgmental. They stress "soft" qualities such as guidance and mutual help, not "hard" ones like sin and damnation".21

If American pastors are using the Hegelian dialectic process on their parishioners, perhaps it's because they learned it while attending a seminar, like the 'Interactive team-building seminar' held in Fort Worth, Texas, and led by Keith Kline, director of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's Center for Leadership Development, and Christian futurist Leonard Sweet: 

"Leadership development of the future will be conversation-based, not [based] on people attending conferences," Sweet said in an interview. "With this interactive team-building seminar, Southwestern is on the cutting edge of this new learning strategy." Sweet told the group that people's method of learning is being rewired. Just as people no longer watch TV the same way they did in the days of "Father Knows Best," the style of learning also is changing, and seminars need to change in order to reach the postmodern world. "Seminars must change from the seminars in the past where the style was, 'Come and hear a lecture,' to a more relational style of, 'Come and be a participant and a team-builder,'" Sweet said. 22

 Clearly, the Hegelian dialectic has infiltrated Evangelic Christianity at all levels under the guise of social psychology, group therapy, team building, sensitivity, compassion and tolerance.  Although it can be shown that the dialectic process was developed by an unbroken procession of Marxists who harbored ill intent toward democratic institutions - the question arises as to whether it is harmful or beneficial to Christianity. One might argue that, regardless of its roots, group therapy seems very helpful to many people. Shouldn't the church, therefore, embrace it?  When used in the context of ministry, the dialectic process, by it's very nature, is in direct contradiction to the basic tenets of Christianity.  Christianity puts forward the concept of an all-knowing Creator who exists outside of time and space and who communicated certain absolute truths to his creation which are preserved in scripture. A foundational principle of Judeo-Christian thought is that man is not, and will never be, equal to God. Where man is finite, God is infinite. While man must struggle to acquire knowledge, God is all-knowing, and has always been so. 

In the dialectic, the antithesis is considered to be equal to the thesis. When the dialectic process is applied to Christianity, the antithesis (our beliefs) is given parity with God's truth (the thesis), thus negating God's superiority, and destroying a cornerstone of Christian theology.  In his article, What's Wrong with the 21st Century Church?, Dr. Robert Klenck explains why the dialectic process will always lead to a dilution of the Christian message:

 "When the Word of God is dialogued (as opposed to being taught didactically) between believers and unbelievers, with multiple Bible versions utilized...and consensus is reached...then the message of the Word of God has been watered down ever so slightly, and the participants have been conditioned to accept (and even celebrate) their compromise (synthesis)."  23 

The world's most respected authority on Christianity - Jesus Christ - did not seem to favor subjecting his relationship with His Father to a dialectical discussion. When tempting Jesus in the wilderness, Satan appears to offer several antitheses in an effort to bring about an attitudinal change in Jesus. Jesus, however, doesn't take the bait, and holds to his didactic thesis of God's word being the absolute authority in a believer's life:

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God".24

 Jesus, most obviously, would not get along well in most evangelic Christian support groups.

Work Cited


 By: Schalow, Frank, Research in Phenomenology, 00855553, 1996, Vol. 26 


By: Kharkhordin, Oleg, Europe-Asia Studies, 09668136, Sep98, Vol. 50, Issue 6 


By: Morgan, Ben, Telos, 00906514, Spring2001, Issue 119


By: Fonte, John, Policy Review, 01465945, Dec2000-Jan2001, Issue 104 

5. Jay, Martin, "The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950," University of California Press, 1973.

 6. Deaux, K. & Wrightsman, L S. (1988) . Social Psychology. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Publishing.

 7. Kurt Lewin, Group Decision and Social Change, In Readings in Social Psychology by Theodore M. Neweomb and Eugene L. Hartley, Co-Chairmen of Editorial Committee, Henry Holt and Co., 1947, pp. 340-44)

 8. ibid.


By: King, D. Brett, Wertheimer, Michael, Social Research, 0037783X, Winter94, Vol. 61, Issue 4 

10. Paul Tillich, On the Idea of a Theology of Culture

Religionsphilosophie der Kultur, (Berlin: Reuther & Reichard, 1919)

11. The Need for More Preaching in the Psychologist's Office or “Why Therapy Never Should Have Left the Church in the First Place”

By: David E. Fitch, Pastoral Psychology; Jan 2000, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p197, 13p

12. Pritchard, G.A. Willow Creek Seeker Services, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001, p.274.

13. Gary Poole, Seeker Small Groups, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003, p. 43

14. ibid p. 104 

15. ibid, p. 105

16.  ibid p. 107 

17. ibid 

18. ibid, p. 108

19. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 327 

20. ibid, p. 146 

21. Therapy of the masses, Economist, 00130613, 11/8/2003, Vol. 369, Issue 8349 

22. 'Interactive team-building seminar' called cutting-edge way of learning

Nov 6, 2002  By Richard D. McCormack  BP News 

23. What's Wrong with the 21st Century Church?  By: Dr. Robert Klenck

24. Jesus Christ, Sermon on the Mount,

King James Version of the Bible, Matthew 4:4 

Background Sources: 

What is the Frankfurt School?

by Dr. Gerald L. Atkinson CDR USN (Ret.)


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