A Response to the Response(s) to Perry Noble and NewSpring Church

104 comments

This article is actually a response to a letter written by Dr. Thomas Kelly, president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, that was published last week in The Courier, the state Baptist newspaper. I have sent a copy of it to Dr. Kelly, and spoke with him on the phone. He was extremely warm and gracious in response to my article, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to speak with him directly. I have also sent a copy to the Courier. I was kindly asked to post it in the comments section of the original article. I have also sent a copy to Pastor Noble and his staff. I was on “Christian Worldview Today” with Dr. Tony Beam this morning discussing it, so I thought I’d post my article here, in its entirety, for anyone who is interested.

I have read the recent statement from our current SCBC president, Dr. Thomas Kelly, and I wish to address several statements he made in regards to calling all Southern Baptist pastors in the state to action. As I am one, I feel obligated to reply.

I wish to make very clear that I am not an apologist for Perry Noble and NewSpring Church. I do not necessarily agree with everything that Pastor Noble has said or done in and from the platform. Our church is also approximately 1 mile from a proposed NewSpring site, which has the potential to impact our area—and our church—in a significant way. I do not know him personally, nor have I ever met or spoken with him. I say all of this because my issue in writing this is not what Pastor  Noble has said or done, but how Southern Baptists—particularly Southern Baptist leadership—has responded.

By now everyone with any interest in the matter knows about Pastor Noble’s error in regards to the broad strokes of the misapplication of Hebrew regarding the Ten Commandments in his recent sermon. They should also be aware of the fact that he has since publicly acknowledged said error, as well as for his own frustrated outburst on social media. In this apology, he clearly said that his statement was not correct and that he “should have put way more time into doing research before making that statement.” I am sure that all of us have stepped in the pulpit and preached something that we later realize required more in-depth study to better understand so that we might more accurately teach the people under our care. Pastor Noble has stated very clearly that he holds a very high view of Scripture, but it also seems that from time to time his eagerness to communicate the Good News of what Christ offers to all people—forgiveness through His substitutionary death—overcomes his knowledge. In over twenty years as a senior pastor, I have certainly been guilty of this as well, and I believe most honest pastors would say the same. I am in no way condoning this, but the fact of the matter is that the man has publicly acknowledged his mistake, asked for forgiveness, and committed to working hard to avoid such mistakes in the future.

The question must then be asked: what else would we have him do? Dr. Kelly asked in his column that all Southern Baptists “publicly state and remove ourselves from these positions and problematic statements and call for NewSpring to correct these positions if it chooses to say that it affiliates with South Carolina Baptist churches.” It certainly seems that was covered in Pastor Noble’s public apology. What else must be done?

According to Dr. Kelly, all SCBC pastors should avoid  “coarse, profane language [on the platform] as well as choosing music that is sacred in content.” Anyone could see the clear value and biblical basis for avoiding coarse language during a hermeneutical discourse, but there seems to be something else that is at work as well in the comment regarding music. In other words, only songs that are explicitly directed to or about God should ever be played in church. On the surface, I certainly agree with the intent here. The only songs people should be using for worship should be directed at a Holy God that has provided redemption for those who will receive His Son.

Can music not serve an illustrative purpose as well, however? Virtually all preachers use stories to illustrate a point of teaching; can songs not be used for the same effect? I believe that a song can register more powerfully to illustrate a point than any quaint story or pitiful, stale joke that causes everyone to roll their eyes at and promptly forget.

Dr. Kelly’s statement that “most ministers live an isolated existence regardless of church size or location” and should therefore “find and actively engage in accountability groups to hold them to a higher standard morally, ethically, and biblically” is absolutely correct. It should be noted that in order to have accountability it must be confidently known that those involved have a true love for and commitment to the success of the others involved. In the nearly 12 since years since I returned to the Upstate of South Carolina, I have consistently heard Pastor Noble’s “brothers” in the ministry excoriate him and NewSpring  for one thing after another. Is it truly surprising if Pastor Noble doesn’t have volumes of trust in a group of people that has certainly shown little love, mercy, or kindness towards him? This is not a man who has denied the Trinity, or suggested that the apostle Paul should be rebuked for his stand against sin in his writings. Pastor Noble has certainly raised some eyebrows over the years, but the fact is that he preaches Christ as the Son of God, crucified for the sins of the world, and that all who call upon the Lord will be saved. Hundreds upon hundreds of people have made professions of faith in Christ as a result of his ministry. Some are quick to point out, “Well, I’m certain not all of those people are really saved,” or “How many of those baptisms are repeat baptisms?” The same statements could be levelled against any large church or even Dr. Billy Graham’s many crusades. It is safe to say that not everyone who walks an aisle or is baptized is truly saved, but is that the fault of the preacher or ministry? To suggest otherwise would demand that salvation is supplied by the minister, and that is certainly biblical heresy.

On Dr. Kelly’s third point, that all SCBC pastors renew “themselves to more sound exegetical study and expository preaching and teaching of God’s word,” I could not agree more. The first task of the pastor for his people is to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). In the midst of this great and worthy cause, however, we should not forget Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 18:21-35 that we are to forgive our brothers “seventy times seven” as He clearly states the danger inherent in a lack of forgiveness. Each one of us would like to be forgiven when we fail and then turn from it. What a novel idea if we showed the same kindness to others. Jesus also said that the unconditional love His followers have for one another would demonstrate to the world those that are His (John 13:35). To do otherwise is certainly to fail in the exegesis of Jesus’ own words.

When we are incapable of showing any more love, mercy and forgiveness than this towards our own people—our own pastors—then we should not be surprised that the world finds us increasingly irrelevant. Jesus did not call us to be such, but that as we are going about our everyday lives we should be making disciples (Matt. 28:19). A staggering lack of love, mercy and forgiveness on the part of pastors is blowing up the very bridges into our communities that we should be seeking to build.

As a pastor, I believe it behooves all Christians to show the kind of mercy we believe Christ has shown us. Should we refute false teaching? Absolutely, and when that person apologizes  and promises to change, we accept it. Seventy times seven. To do less is unworthy of our cause and our Christ.

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104 comments on “A Response to the Response(s) to Perry Noble and NewSpring Church”

  1. Thanks Marcus. My brother and his family are faithful members of New Springs and have been so hurt lately with the un-loving nature of fellow believers. I’m SO proud to have a pastor who puts the word of God FIRST and encourages us to LIVE the word! Love you brother!

  2. A pastor that is called by God will not have to go back and apologize for a message that was preached. If he/she is called by God then God himself will give that pastor the message to preach.

    1. While I agree that God leads on what a pastor is to preach, we must never forget that the pastor is just a man and is as fallible as any other. God’s message is perfect, but his human messengers–myself included–are far from it.

    2. So, Angela, your preacher is infallible? I thought there was only 1 that was…

      Pretty high standards for a man don’t you think?

  3. A man is called by God and he goes about doing His work making mistakes and correcting them as all pastors and all members of their church. Who should throw the first stone ? None my friend and brother ! Perry Noble has been called by God and doing wonderful things ; teaching, preaching, loving his flock, helping the community and loving on them! Sometimes the people who are leaders of the convention have made mistakes as I have seen first hand in my family and still it wasn’t corrected acknowleged. So no browbeating by people who proclaim to be so righteous. Words sometimes have other meanings when it has been public ally announced in an ” eloquent” type manner wishing the public to perceive it as so righteous.

  4. Pastor Marcus
    Thank you for you biblical leadership in this situation and your compassion not only for another human but a brother in Christ and an admonition for believers to do the same. Wise council.

  5. Thank you for this article. You were able to articulate your points so well. I am a life long southern baptist and a member of Newspring for 2 years. This church is the real deal, full of imperfect people.

  6. Pastor Perry is an outstanding Pastor. He changed my walk with Christ ! He’s also the best Pastor I’ve ever had. Just because one thing was miss said others can’t judge.You can’t judge a book by its cover until you know what’s on the inside. I stand by my Pastor for everything. I ❤my Church and my Pastor’s @ NewSpring Church. Baptist will judge Pastor Perry for everything he dose. You can’t do life alone. The Best is yet to Come. Stop judging Pastor Perry

    1. Lance, if you’re directing that at me, I’m pretty sure you haven’t read my article. If you’re directing that at others who are actually dog piling on him, then I understand.

  7. Thank you for your article. I am a NewSpringer and am proud, no – very proud, of our Pastor. And, yes, he is human. If those who want to throw the first stone would put it down before hastily launching it, at Perry and NewSpring, and look to see what they are doing in their life to lead others to Christ, I honestly don’t beleive they would pick it back up. And I particularly like you’re addressing the issue that salvation is not supplied by the Pastor or the Church. Whew…. thanks again for a well written article for a well respected man.

  8. Thank you for your article. I was raised a southern baptist and now sit under Perry Noble. He preaches the Bible as I have been taught all of my life. It has been very disheartening to see not only Pastor Noble being bashed and called an idiot, a feel good preacher , etc…. but also to see those who attend New Springs be accused of only going there because it is the popular thing to do. I think the appeal of New springs is that you not only hear the Word, hear the gospel and are challenged to carry out our primary purpose of spreading the gospel, you hear it from a real , imperfect man that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than just that….. A sinner saved by grace. No perfect people at New Springs!

  9. Thank you Pastor for your wise and insightful counsel. Your church is blessed to have you as their pastor. God bless you and your church as you reach your community with the Gospel.

    1. Daniel, I’m not defending Pastor Noble but rather questioning an apparent unwillingness to forgive a man who has apologized and asked for forgiveness. I stated quite clearly that I do not agree with everything he says.

      1. I didn’t say you were defending him, I’m wondering: if we took this article and separated it from what we already know about his ten commandments issue and addressed it on its own, even after considering his clarification in the comment below, isn’t Noble’s belief that the word of God is less important to new Christians than community is, cause for concern? Thanks again.

      2. This is one of those “eyebrow-raising statements” I memtioned, but in all fairness he clarified that further in a post he released later. Brevity of statement and lack of solid context often is a ticking time bomb.

  10. I am a preacher’s kid, and I’ve seen first hand many times how tearing a person down can destroy a church. We left the FWB Assoc. behind because of that. Now, the SBC is turning into the same.
    I will say that I do attend NS and have for 2+ years. When I walked in, I was reluctant. Now, I absolutely love how Perry approaches things so realistically. As with all things, people talk, gossip, point fingers…yet forget their own short comings. I’ve watched Perry stand before us telling us, “hey, I messed up!” And I love him for that. He doesn’t walk around like he’s perfect because he knows he isn’t. And in my spirituality, that makes me realize he’s as human as me and the sinner beside me.
    Perry, your congregation LOVES you, but you already know that. And we LOVE how you LOVE our God.

  11. Thank you, Pastor Marcus, for such a mature, biblical response to a situation that has been blown entirely out of proportion. I have been a Christian and a Southern Baptist for over 40 years. I have enjoyed and appreciated every church I’ ve had the privilege to be a part of and know that each one has had its strengths and weaknesses as they are all made of imperfect people. The same is can be said of NewSpring which has been my church home for over 2 years. I know that I have grown much closer to God in the time that I’ve been there and have had the privilege watching others do the same as well as witness countless others make radical life change as they have experienced the saving grace of Jesus. I love NewSpring church and my pastor, Perry Noble, and the incredible positive impact it is having not only in our state but around the world. I appreciate your voice of reason in all this and am sure that your congregation is blessed as well to have you as their pastor.

  12. Many people, especially pastors, have long been critical because of jealousy and/or because their churches have been ‘impacted’ by Perry Noble and NewSpring. This type of criticism has no place in the Christian church. One cannot build up the body of Christ whole tearing down the body of Christ.
    I agree with many of your points, but in Perry Noble’s apology, he said: “what I am not apologizing for is saying that the Hebrew word for “command” is not used when the 10 commandments were given.” He is still incorrect here. In the Deuteronomy account of the 10 commandments, the word commandment is used five times in and immediately following the 10 commandments. Not to mention the numerous times throught the rest of the Bible that they are referred to as commands, including when Jesus referred to them as commands.
    I listened to the sermon in question and his points were biblical, but he grossly misused Scripture in that sermon. If he had used Scriptures that actually pertained to his points, it would have been a really good sermon.

  13. When Kelly got involved this situation, the issue became less about theology and more about Baptist polity to me. Let’s begin with autonomy of the local church, move to soul competency, then settle on the best pastoral advice I’ve ever received, “Stay out of relationships that you’re not in.”

  14. Thank you, Rev. Marc, for such a truth-filled and heartfelt response to Dr. Kelly’s article. I still do not understand why this article was ever published. I think this should have been discussed face to face and not in the Baptist Courrier. Perry Noble has been thrown under the bus by so many people, and the worst have been fellow Christians. We are all imperfect, but some “religious” people find that hard to admit. I’ve been at NS for 13 years…..never imagining such growth, not only in a church, but in my relationship with Christ. Perry has such a heart for Jesus and is so faithful in passionately seeking Him daily. He also loves his church family with the same passion and makes no apologies for being relentless in reaching out as far as possible to share Jesus Christ with others. I know this has hurt him very much,and social media can be so damaging, but not nearly as damaging as unforgiveness or intentional mudslinging from “brothers and sisters” in Christ. Your congregation is truly blessed to have a man like you as their Pastor. Thank you for being bold…….

    1. in all likelihood, this was discussed face to face before it was taken to the baptist courier. Matthew 18 method of conflict resolution.

      1. It actually was not discussed between Dr. Kelly and anyone at NewSpring, according to both the conversation I had with Dr. Kelly and an executive pastor from NewSpring I spoke with yesterday. Matthew 18 is the subject of an impending article I’m working on.

  15. I am not a member of new spring but have been upset about the piling on of Perry Noble. He has led hundreds of souls to Christ. Thanks for taking a Christian approach to this situation.

  16. Thank you for this article and your insightful opinion. I grew up going to church every time the doors were open. After many years of feeling judged by others in the church, including the youth pastor himself judging me in front of our youth group, I quit going to church and lost interest. I never quit believing or following Christ, but I struggled immensely with ever darkening a church’s door again because of similar behavior that is now being called to action by “the church”. When I did want to start back with church, it was Newspring’s door I chose. I had been away from the church for 12 years at that point. Now, my faith and personal relationship with Christ is stronger than ever. And it’s all because I started attending a church that loved everyone for all of their past indiscretions and current struggles; where judgment is checked at the door. Knowing that I can learn from a man of God more in 2 years than I did the first 18 years of church because he admits he’s lead a life of sin, been saved, and still makes mistakes; that tells me he’s like me. And like me, he isn’t perfect. We are all judged enough and deal with life enough everyday that we should not have to worry with judgment in the house of the Lord. I appreciate you speaking from your heart about this because there are many people out there that were being led towards starting/restarting church who have now been put off by the very thing they were seeking and they can see a strong voice of reason coming from you. Thank you!

    1. Matt, while baptism is an important symbolic act of obedience that represents our death to sin and self and the reception of the new life and forgiveness found in Christ, it does not have any power to save. The Bible is very clear that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord and believes that He died and rose from the dead in atonement for their sin will be saved (Romans 10:9-13). Other denominations believe baptism to be salvific, but Southern Baptists don’t subscribe to this view. The Baptist Faith and Message is a statement of our core doctrines and can easily be found online–check it out and see if that helps clarify some.

  17. pastor Marcus, very well said. Thank you for your insight.I would challenge all of us as Pastors to consider something else.
    Perhaps this is ultimately a test for us, to see how we respond to our brothers and sisters in ministry. As you stated, the world is watching us. It is very sad to see how “fellow” ministers have attacked. The sad part is we do not even found the Scriptures when we have a problem with her brother. Very few people, I doubt, have contacted him directly. They just resorted to posting things online through social media, for everyone to see, believers and non believers alike.
    And we wonder why the world wants nothing to do with us?

  18. Thanks for your sincerity Marcus.

    Is not the main purpose of the law to show us our sin? How then, can a pastor turn God’s law into promises, shaving off the hard, condemning edges, and said pastor not be called on it? I, as a Southern Baptist, have no trouble forgiving Noble. I’ve done so because he asked for forgiveness. He seems like a very passionate and sincere man. But, that doesn’t mean people who have forgiven him should forget about his dangerous scripture twisting. In fact, people should be warned why Noble’s Christmas Eve service was so troublesome. I thought Dr. Kelly handled this task respectfully in light of the truth. Speaking up in defense of the truth is absolutely loving, even if it isn’t popular. Let us all pray that the SBC will be filled with pastors that will call people to repentance and faith in Christ alone, which is NOT the same as asking people to say “yes” to Jesus so they can receive all God’s “promises”. In my opinion, you’ve kinda created and torched a straw man in your article.

    Sincerely,
    Brandon

  19. There’s ONE Church in Columbia, Greenville, or in SC…. It’s not NS. It’s not the SBC, it’s not the Presby’s, or anybody else.. It’s Christ’s Church. Why are you folks sitting around throwing rocks at His Church???

    Perry might have made a bit of a blunder or 3 (and no, I don’t go there nor am I a member or even a big fan of NS), but this article is spot-on; he acknowledged it, and it’s time to move on.

    Listen, **EVERY** pastor has made a mistake in his preaching at some point.. and if he hasn’t, he’s lying. And every pastor has sin… And if he hasn’t, he’s lying. We’re sinful humans with hearts that wander; pastors are no more free from sin than rocks are free from gravity.

    The Church should be protected and that we should hold each other’s backs. There are HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people who need the Gospel – why on earth do you nitwits think it’s glorifying to God to attack each other over what is an obvious blunder by a guy who’s been more than apologetic? Are lost folks somehow woo’d to Christ by your ability to pour salt in his wounds?? Get a grip…

    From seeing social media, it would seem that a huge group of folks who call themselves Christians feel that their life’s calling is malign anyone who is actually WORKING to reach people with the Gospel..Somehow I doubt that’s what Christ had in mind when He reminded us to love in deed and in truth…..

  20. Do you really feel Perry is a Pastor? Do you really feel New Spring is a church?
    I think of him as a motivational speaker with a large following. For me, a Pastor, Preacher, Priest, or Father (many different synonymous terms) is an individual who leads a church by following the Commandments and instructions from the Bible. I like a personal relationship with a Pastor/Father. Communion, weddings, funerals, baptisms, and christenings are part of a church. If an organization refuses these things, how can it be a church? (I am aware of the swimming pool baptisms)

    1. “Hope” Read Matthew 7:21-23
      It’s a shame how much negativity is on this board. It’s a shame how many of our knee jerk reactions are to rebuke Perry rather than to love and forgive him as a fellow brother in Christ. If you ask me, all of this is scarily similar to the work of the Pharisees who crucified Jesus. We are so quick to objectify Perry’s mistake without recognizing that he is under the conviction of the same Holy Spirit that resides in every follower of Christ. The same Holy Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead. Who are we as sinners to self righteously rebuke anything he says? We are taught in the bible to use scripture for rebuking and correcting but are also taught to do it from a place of love not a place of I’m right, you are wrong Perry.
      After spending my entire life in Church, and never knowing Jesus; I received Christ at NewSpring. It changed my life. Many of the responses on here are exactly why I turned away from church. It’s also the exact reason Christianity has taken a back seat to pop culture in our present society. What a shame. I’d encourage everyone to think about why Jesus died. It certainly wasn’t so we could sit around on job boards criticizing fellow Christians when there are people in this world who have never heard the Gospel.
      Perry, I love you brother and thank God every day for the work he is doing through you.

      Galatians 5:22-23

  21. I must have missed his public apology and removal of that sermon from t heir website. What I saw was an apology to his church begging for continued support. I did not see repentance which could only include asking for forgiveness publicly for saying this message came from God via the Holy Spirit I suppose?, making racial overtones, twisting scripture, and making no mention of Christ being the Son of God on Christmas Eve of all days. Then he should step down at least for a period of time for failing to recall that Jesus and Paul called them commandments in the NT translated from Greek. This seems to be the blind leading the blind. How quick somw are to condemn a boy to 20 years for desecration of a rock that Frank Howard was going to throw away but quick to forgive the desecration of the 10 Commandments in a church of all places.

    1. His “public apology” was just him saying “Sorry for offending you but I’m still right”. Basically. He’s not sorry for what he said he’s just sorry he might lose some followers over it.

  22. 2Jo 1:9-11
    9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
    (KJV)

  23. Very well articulated. I have family members and friends who are members to Newspring, and knew Pastor Noble in college. While there are things about Newspring that make it not “my cup of tea”, I’ve never had the idea that it was a cult, or that the Word of God was not being faithfully preached. Frankly, I have been more concerned (as, apparently, have you) about the feeding frenzy surrounding the attack on Perry Noble that we have seen of late. It is apparent that there are those who hang on his every word, just waiting for a chance to destroy that ministry. the “circular firing squad” nature of that kind of folly is hard to miss… The winner in this is certainly NOT Jesus…

      1. I fear the real issues are being brushed under the rug. Where you are baptized is a non-issue. My wife was baptized in the ocean! The issue at hand is Perry’s bad hermeneutics displayed in the Christmas Eve sermon, which lead to an even worse exegesis of God’s word. Add to that the fact that Perry said God told him to preach that message and one can easily see the cause for people’s concern. For example, Perry called attendants to say “yes” to Jesus in order to receive God’s “promises”, instead of calling people to repentance and faith/trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. If Perry is proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name on an average Sunday by Sunday basis, and he for whatever reason just completely “fumbled the ball” on this particular sermon, then the article above actually has teeth. But, what if this is actually Perry’s theology manifesting in his sermons? Most SBC members I am aware of have pure intentions when speaking out on this matter. Granted, there are those handling it the wrong way. Everyone needs to test what Perry (or any pastor) is saying in the name of God to the word of God. We should strive to be like the Bereans, who tested even what the Apostle Paul said to the scriptures. I forgive Perry for the things that he asked for forgiveness (His apology wasn’t exactly crystal clear btw). But, my heart still breaks for those that are under his teaching when he mangles God’s word as he did in the aforementioned sermon. Should we not warn people? Is that not the loving thing to do? Let’s point people to Christ by showing them that God’s law condemns and kills, not that they are promises from God when you say “yes” to Jesus! How incredibly misleading the latter is!

  24. I understand that different kinds of music can draw people into a church and not everyone likes the same kind of music. But I don’t appreciate the fact that “Highway to Hell” should have been played before the Easter service!

    1. I agree. Sure secular music can be played in a church as illustrations or whatever justification you need to make yourself sleep better at night. But never should a song explicitly celebrating the fact that you know you’re going to Hell and you’re happy about that be played. It makes me so upset seeing all of his followers blindly doing whatever he deems righteous.

  25. And another thing. Many of my friends and some of my family go to Newspring and I was so discouraged when I saw one of them post a picture with Noble and the caption was “Best day of my life! Got to meet THE Perry Noble.” I’m sorry if meeting your Pastor is like meeting a celebrity you have a problem. I don’t know what it is about this man that makes everyone fawn over him but I would despise going to a church where I had never met my pastor. I’ve always been close friends with my pastors.

  26. In reading Dr. Kelly’s letter, it seems that his primary criticism is “his 2014 Christmas Eve message and his theological position in that message are evidence of continued problematic positions and statements that are inconsistent with the beliefs of South Carolina Baptists.”

    For this I haven’t seen that Mr. Noble has apologized. Today, the NewSpring website (https://newspring.cc/sermons/a-thrill-of-hope) describes the Dec 24 sermon as “The Ten Commandments are more than just commands—they’re promises, and with each promise we’re given more reasons to say ‘yes’ to Jesus!”

    This statement is wrong. The Ten Commandments aren’t promises. I know this because the Bible doesn’t describe them as promises. Therefore, we have no reason to read them as promises. Mr. Noble apologized for his misstatement regarding a Hebrew word for “commandment.” That apology doesn’t address his “theological position,” which in my opinion like Dr. Kelly’s, is problematic.

  27. Pastor Marcus, I have a genuine question. Over the past few years, I have continuously heard about Pastor Noble correcting and apologizing for statements, updating the context on which he was speaking in this certain situation and that one, etc. I get it. We are all human. Even church leaders, who have a MAJOR responsibility to lead God’s people in fellowship, worship and spiritual growth, make mistakes. I understand and except that. But on what criteria or basis do we judge our church leaders? Now, judge may not be the right word for it, but every person must “weigh” a church, and with God’s help, decide where they want to go to worship, fellowship, etc…So in essence, we do have to judge a church and its leaders in order to make a decision about where we will allow ourselves and our families to be influenced and taught Jesus’ Word. I understand this is probably a fine line, but where do we draw this line in terms of “Ok, Pastor _______ made a mistake and owned up to it, I forgive him with God’s help and will continue to grow with him….” and “Pastor _____ is leading us astray, maybe not intentionally but due to understanding and knowledge, or lack of personal closeness with God, or blatant disregard for _____, it it time to take my family to a different church.”

    At what point should you draw the line? Should you stick it out with your pastor no matter what? public scandal, personal disagreement with a certain part of your beliefs etc. Pastor Noble is not the first pastor to have to retract a statement or clear up the context of one, but I do not hear about ANY other Pastors doing this as much as I do him. Who knows, maybe that means he is doing something right. But again, not to beat a dead horse, how can you “know” if a church leader is a shepherd or a wolf?(for lack of a better analogy)

    1. This is a great question. Again, let me restate that I am not an apologist for Pastor Noble. This is not primarily a NewSpring thing for me. My entire premise in this article was that he was being attacked for something he had already apologized for. I do think that the cause of Christ is damaged when Christians show little mercy towards each other.

      I think that people need to carefully examine the teaching that comes from their pastor and leadership. Mistakes are bound to made, as we pastors are merely human after all. The problem comes when error becomes the norm and steps aren’t taken to correct the mistakes. Pastors who deny the Trinity, or rebuke the apostle Paul for his writings, or teach a “health and wealth gospel” that anyone who is faithful will never be sick or suffer are clearly teaching contrary to biblical truth. I think one has to examine the whole spectrum of word and deed, but when teaching that clearly contradicts Scripture becomes normative it’s time to go. I will say that at least he corrects or clarifies his statements, because many preachers out there do not. Careful study and planning would eliminate a great many of the mistakes we make as Christians, as well as pastors.

  28. As Christians we must all forgive Perry Noble as he has ask. Forgiveness does not mean that there are no consequences to our actions! Perry is certainly living with that!

  29. Great article Pastor Marcus. I dont know anything about newspring other than its a mega church, but I am glad that you stood up for forgiveness for I know Christ has forgiven much on my account!

  30. I find the latter point about forgiving 7×77 times the most important part of this piece, and its impact on those on the outside looking in.

    We are all well aware of the research that shows the 3 most common attributes that come to the public mind for “Christians” is judgmental, hypocritical, and homophobic. Unfortunately, they are right far too often. I’m just as guilty as others.

    Would any of us describe Jesus that way?

    Then why are we living our lives that way?

    If Jesus himself said he came to save and not judge, why does it seem our first instinct is to judge?

    We don’t have to be any less committed to Biblical principles, we just need to be more committed to mercy, grace, forgiveness and love.

    LIKE JESUS.

  31. I have been a minister in the SCBC for years. The position that Rev. Kelly was not the view of the Baptist Convention. The office of President of the South Carolina Baptist Convention is only dealing with the yearly meeting. It has not authority in regards to Convention business. The busy of the convention is run by both lay people and ministers (Executive Board). I understand that people both ministers and everyday people make mistakes even the President of the USA make mistake but it is how we deal with its afterward shows true character. God Bless All Gods People,

  32. The early Christians weren’t concerned with theology. They simply were amazed by the fact that Jesus had been killed on a cross for our sins, rose from the dead, stayed another 40 days with them, then ascended into heaven. They were eyewitnesses to this. They had witnessed all of his other miracles and had no idea the best was saved for them. The church went from 120 to 3,000 in a flash. But some thought they were, “Drunk.” Who is to say what God has or hasn’t done in someone’s heart? I’m not qualified to do so. Is anyone else?

    Thank you for acknowledging that these core values of the trinity, and the fact that should be our focus. We shouldn’t look at other Christians and tell them they’re doing it wrong. That’s not our place.

    1. It is our place! Acts 17: 11 ” Now the Berean Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” These Jews were searching the scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true.
      We must search the bible to see if these men we call teachers and preachers are really preaching God’s Word.These men are leading many astray.You must compare what every man says to the Word of God no matter who he is. Perry Noble is not above this nor is any man. I’m glad he apologized and he is forgiven. Marcus asked what more should he do? He should preach the Word of God,not water it down, not tickle the ears of people. Preach repentance the real meaning of saying “yes to Jesus”. The choices of the secular music alone in the worship of a Holy God should cause people to pause.
      Speaking truth in love is what all Christians should do. No one is “piling” on Perry just correcting him in love which we are commanded to do in scripture.

  33. Thank you SO much for your article and your eloquent analysis of the situation (by far the best and most unbiased so far)…it’s been VERY disheartening to see all of the backlash, not from non-Christians, but from withing the “Christian” community…I do attend NS and have for the last 4 years…I have seen God grow me through Perry, as well as, many other WONDERFUL leaders through NS…2 of my daughters have accepted Christ and become on fire for Christ while hearing the Word of God from leaders at NS…and I can’t argue with that!

  34. I pray daily for New Spring and the Leadership there; the unorthodox methods used is offensive to many Churches. Does that make them wrong? I don’t know…..there is much debate over New Spring and while I feel very strongly that some of the methods are disrespectful and do not reverence God many will argue that these methods draw people in and that should be a good thing? Why is the church growing rapidly? Are people drawn by the excitement and entertainment or are they truly seeking a place where they can worship? I love my church and I love my God that created it for me! Remember people! God created “ONE” church! HIS CHURCH! And that one church is the one he will return for!

  35. I attended the first service ever at New Spring Church in Greenwood. I was a member of a main stream denomination and active in the church. I attended specifically because of the criticisms enumerated above. I wanted to see for myself what this church was all about. I sat down and listened to a rock and roll song played by an outstanding band. There was Contemporary Christian music played. I looked around and saw people of my community united in worship. Every segment was represented in worship of our Lord and Savior. The sermon was rock solid in its theology and yes, just entertaining enough to keep my attention and keep me coming back. I am an owner and I feel certain that I was slowly spiritually dying until New Spring woke me up. I have a small group that I love. And yes, we do life together. There are a lot of smiles at my church and a lot of love for all. Perry does church differently from any church I have attended and I am 63. I like it and anticipate New Spring Church will continue to reach people that would not be comfortable in some main stream denominational churches. I agree with the statement that we all belong to Christ’s Church and should build each other up rather than taking every opportunity to sow seeds of dissension. Perry has made mistakes and I am certain he will make more in the future. So will you and I. Let us pray for wisdom to know when we do and to seek truth,.

    1. Great attitude…. I have employees who are members at several NS, and many friends who’ve left “my church” to go to NS. Good for them. Not my cup of tea.

      But never forget, the Church is Christ’s, not the SBC, the PCA, Perry Noble’s, or anybody else’s… We southern evangelifish types are FAR too happy to knife each other in the back, just to make ourselves look better (as if the world is out there keeping score based on who’s “winning in at church”).. C’mon, do we really think that our aility to properly dissect another pastor’s pulpit faux pas is going to result in more people coming to faith?? Hell no…

      I don’t attend NS. But I absolutely pray for Perry & Co, that the world will see Christ thru them, and turn to him.. May their tribe increase.

      As Paul said, some share the Gospel with the wrong motives, but in the end, the Gospel is still preached.. I say some have poor delivery, bad taste, make faux pas, but in the end, the Gospel is preached.. I know first hand of alcoholic & drug addicts whose lives are CHANGED by coming to Christ thru NS. They would NOT have attended 1st Baptist or 1st Prez or some other “real” church.. but God captured them thru Perry.. And that is something we should be thankful for…

      Pray for your pastors, folks… they have a heavy mantle. No need to make it heavier for them…

  36. I saw where the NS Youth Pastor put on his blog “comebacks” for students to use when their parents say they don’t want them going to NS because it is too much like a cult. Just the fact that he felt the need to do that bothers me.

  37. Forgiving is one thing…trusting is another. Suggesting this pastor made a little mistake is akin to saying BP had a little oil spill in the gulf a few years back. Yet another reason to be weary of one who leads a mega church. To each their own, but most educated people outside the bubble think Perry Noble’s sermon was ridiculous at best.

    As for the article above, I think it is well written and we’ll thought out. My comments are not directed towards Pastor Buckley.

  38. Thank you for the well articulated response. I have attended NS for many years and while there are things that have bothered me there, there are things that I don’t agree with there, there are things I don’t agree with in any church or organization I have been involved with. It’s stretching to be challenged by people who don’t think exactly as I do.
    I want to reference two things. Perry’s strongest spiritual gift is evangelism, and while I agree Perry is sloppy on his exegesis (and as someone who has taught the bible for many years that sometimes drives me nuts), I see it as that he is not a teacher, but a preacher and evangelist. I have sat under his preaching for 8 years and while he may be loose with his use of scripture he is solid on Biblical truth and I have never heard him teach anything heretical. His sermons are convicting and move people towards Christ, not away from Christ. He is clear and in line on what most evangelicals would consider fundamentals of the faith and his theology is very Baptist).

    Second on the music issue I think you made an excellent point. I don’t listen to secular music but have been griped several times with the message that was illustrated through a secular song used in the service, like the time the band did Highway to Hell before a message on hell, or the time they did a song about hooking up before a sermon that made a case for Christian chastity.

    BTW Marcus, where do you pastor? I could find nothing on this site about who you are.

  39. I’d love to make a few comments. First of all I appreciate your response and agree. I also have become greatly troubled by so much of the activity is see in the institutional church today. This is not the real issue…these who are attacking Perry have been watching and waiting for the right opportunity to present itself and when it did they leaped…..in the bible this behavior would have been described as “with gnashing of teeth”. It is no coincidence that the context of the error at hand is connected to the 10 Commandments….I believe GOD is trying to show us we are more attentive to the LAW than HIS LOVE, and we do it under the pretense of Standing Up for God and what’s right! Defenders of the FAITH…..whatever!
    We need some Temple cleansing but it don’t need to start at New Spring, but maybe Columbia and Nashville.

  40. This pastor has made so many public swipes at people that esteem the Scriptures above the teachings of man, it is no wonder that he has such a large group that offers quick criticism for these mistakes…that he keeps on making…and has to keep on apologizing for. “I love my church” would do well to be changed to “I love my Savior, Jesus Christ” or they may find that Jesus is on the outside of their very popular and well-known church – knocking to get inside. I encourage you all to study the church of Sardis in Revelation. For that matter, study all of them. Christ has spoken. False teaching is real and it is going to be very difficult to recognize it if you listen to these glossy defenses of bad teachers teaching badly. I can imagine the community that existed around the church of Sardis admitting that “those christians are always so excited”…ABOUT THEIR CHURCH…but not so much about their Savior. Look at the comments above. Who runs this church and who draws the crowds? Jesus Christ or Perry Noble? Jesus is all too often a passing thought after long narratives about how great “our church” is. If you love Perry, great. I find him to be quite an endearing guy. But Perry did not waken you up spiritually. That church did not wake you up spiritually. It was God Almighty that woke you up spiritually and, I think, that is why so many people question this mans approach. If he is, in fact, called, then he can stand the pressure to give an account from time to time. I find these very glossy defenses to be insincere because they are taking the same very wide brush that they claim to hate and wiping Perry’s history clean. And for what? To encourage us to forget that Christ said that in the end there would be many false teachers that would lead many astray with very attractive messages that would be dead wrong?

  41. I think that most of the criticism Noble draws comes from his actions. Not too many yrs ago, when speaking of NSers wanting a piece of his time, he said ‘I cant go to lunch with all of you, I don’t even like most of you’ (paraphrased). Not a very pastoral comment. He then proceeded to do an interview with Dabo, asking how he dealt with mad fans who didn’t get a chance to speak with the coach. Coarse language hasn’t helped. Neither has being loose with Scripture. If my Pastor was consistently being questioned and/or having to apologize, Id have 2nd thoughts. Baptisms at Church seem to be done by underlings, yet he found time to show up at a football practice to baptize a Clemson player. Maybe he just enjoys the publicity, similar to Carpenter/RWOC, jmho.

  42. Pastor, thank you so much for your comment and understanding concerning music. If a preacher tells an illustrative story that has no overt spiritual content but is used to relax, disarm, or get the attention of the congregation then no one bats an eye but if the music program does it, people blow a gasket. Some people use the words discipline and punishment interchangeably but they are not. People also tend to assume that the only purpose for music in church is for praise and worship. Not all praise is music and not all music has to be praise.

  43. Marcus,
    I am a Christian, but not part of the SBC world. As an outside observer, I see two things going on here – the SCBC’s response to Noble, and your response to the SCBC. I don’t always keep up with these issues, but this one came up on my radar.
    You say, “I do not necessarily agree with everything that Pastor Noble has said or done in and from the platform.” And, “. . . Noble has certainly raised some eyebrows over the years.” Could you list the things that Noble has said or done with which you don’t agree, or how he has raised your eyebrows?
    Are you comparing Dr. Kelley’s rather pacific warning with an unforgiving spirit? You said, “A staggering lack of love, mercy and forgiveness on the part of pastors is blowing up the very bridges into our communities that we should be seeking to build.” Or is this comment directed at others? It seems to me that Dr. Kelley is just issuing a necessary warning from his leadership position. This is a compassionate thing to do.
    You wrote: “In this apology, he clearly said that his statement was not correct and that he ‘should have put way more time into doing research before making that statement.’ I am sure that all of us have stepped in the pulpit and preached something that we later realize required more in-depth study to better understand so that we might more accurately teach the people under our care.” But this doesn’t appear to be Noble’s case. I read that Mr. Noble said that GOD had told him to preach this sermon, and that some of his staff had confirmed that he had heard GOD speak in this matter. If he apologized for his statement, then shouldn’t he be asking us to forgive GOD as well? Did GOD speak to him or not? Mr. Noble can’t have it both ways. This is a giant red flag, waving for all, even with minimal discernment, to see. A Christian congregation should not want a man who says that God speaks to him; they should want a man who speaks God’s Word to them through faithful Scriptural exposition, like the God’s great servants of the past – Luther, Calvin, Jay, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, etc. Doesn’t it make you uncomfortable, Marcus – to defend a man who claimed that GOD told him to say something, but then apologizes for saying that very thing?
    Overall, this appears to be about more than just one sermon, and the loving, careful response to it from Dr. Kelley. Instead it is about the things I asked you to list earlier, Marcus. It is not about one “sermon” and one apology, but about Christian maturity and biblical faithfulness. It is not about unforgiveness, but about shepherds warning God’s flock of doctrinal and practical irregularities and immaturity.
    I appreciated the comments from Daniel, John, Rob, and Cody above. I also understand, to some degree, those who are trying to defend Mr. Noble. I would warn them, however, to judge all things by Scripture, and compare his method and manner with the godly preachers of the past. If you have given your mind, heart, and judgment to a mere man, no matter who that is, you then begin to excuse too easily his sins. You allow your judgment to be clouded by your affection and attachment for that person. You allow his attitudes, words, and actions to shape your convictions more than the Word of God. You wrap up your attachment to Christ into your attachment to him. This is a dangerous place to be.

    1. Again, I am not an apologist for Perry Noble or NewSpring. The point of the article was questioning the wisdom of calling for an apology that had already been given. There is certainly the larger issue of Christians who show a decidedly unkind attitude towards those whose methods differ from their own. I have also made clear that there can be no compromise when it comes to the clear teaching of Scripture. No one has the authority to manipulate Scripture to their own means. Ignoring Jesus’ command to forgive, however, is doing just that.

      Has Pastor Noble made glaring hermeneutical mistakes? I’m not a student of his, but certain things brought to my attention over the years have certainly given me pause. I will not provide a laundry list here because 1) they are not relevant to the direct point of my article (although one could perhaps argue they are in an extended context, but that would require something far beyond the scope of my article) and 2) I am not interested in being an apologist for him. I am interested when the elected leader of my state convention calls me to do something that is in apparent contradiction to what has already been done.

      1. With all due respect, Marcus, I read Dr. Kelly’s statements again and found no request for Noble to re-apologize. I knew that NewSpring grew out of Anderson University, but did not realize that it had any present affiliation with the SCBC. As a fellow Baptist, I have to say that the Presbyterians and Episcopalians have an advantage over us when it comes to these matters, with their Book of Church Order, bishops, etc. It gets a little more difficult in an associational setting, which is what we have in the SCBC. What this appears to be is a shepherd-like call to the SCBC churches to avoid the aberrancies that Noble and NS have become known for. The “laundry list” you mention IS relevant to your point, because this is exactly what Dr. Kelly is addressing: “However, his 2014 Christmas Eve message and his theological position in that message are evidence of continued problematic positions and statements that are inconsistent with the beliefs of South Carolina Baptists.” What he is saying is that the message, even though Noble issued a kind of apology for it, is just one more instance of a pattern. If this is the first such call for ministerial dignity and duty as a result of a lack thereof from NS, then the SCBC has exercised extraordinary restraint. Think back to 20 years ago. If the elected leader of a denomination asked its pastors not to use coarse, profane language in the pulpit, and not to play “Highway to Hell” at the beginning of an Easter service, you and I would have been shocked and dumbfounded, and rightly so, because such problematic and gospel-contradicting actions would have been considered as unconscionable. Morality has not changed since then. When a man who has been put in a leadership position sees patterns leaning towards syncretism like this, why should he remain silent? When a main pastor and a church, despite their talk about Jesus, appear to remain in a doctrinal and practical stage of pre-pubescence, (contra Ephesians 4:14-16), why shouldn’t Dr. Kelly speak the truth in love?
        Despite my disagreement with you, I wish you well. I came across what I think is a better analysis of this here:
        http://www.pajamapages.com/baptists-message-to-newspring-youre-not-one-of-us/

      2. Thomas,

        My issue was not that Dr. Kelly, as the president of the SCBC, should not call out bad theology when he sees It. The issue was that the tone was perhaps not the most appropriate in light of the apology and commitment by Noble to be more attentive to his studies before declaring something as truth from the platform. Had the letter from Dr. Kelly been issued a week earlier, or with slightly different wording, I would not have felt a need to write what I did. Dr. Kelly is a great man with a desire to do what is right. He and I have spoken on this, and I consider him a friend and have offered my support to him as SCBC president in any way I can.

        NewSpring is a South Carolina Baptist Church in the most marginal sense. They do not support the convention in any but the most cursory of ways to my knowledge, but they certainly do little to market themselves as “Southern Baptist.” My concern has for years been that we as Southern Baptists, not just in SC but nationally, are becoming know more for what we are against than what we are for. Bad theology and scriptural compromise must be refuted, of course, but the methods by which we do it say as much about us as what we actually say. Is NewSpring such a threat to Southern Baptists in SC that we have to address it as such?

        I have never made any indication of being and advocate for NewSpring, and I really do not have any desire or intent towards becoming their apologist, as I have said repeatedly. I continue, however, to be inundated with examples of the things they do which have been controversial and which, therefore, is now sufficient cause for a call to arms. At the top of the list is the “Highway to Hell” song on Easter Sunday, which is an eyebrow-raiser to say the least. Would I have done that? Probably not. Do I understand the point? Yes, I do. I believe it is safe to say that we as believers agree with the biblical teaching that all without Christ are indeed on such a road. While AC/DC is certainly a controversial choice for illustrating a point, I see how it could connect with unchurched people to teach them a greater truth.

        I am concerned that we have become more concerned with seeking out theological liberalism and compromise at the cost of speaking the truth in love to both believer and unbeliever alike. I am not saying Perry Noble and NewSpring are right in everything they do. I AM saying that we risk spending more time attacking (or defending) them at the cost of our own work for Christ. Are we truly going to change anyone’s minds by attacking them? The history of mankind says we are not. All we serve to do by harsh rhetoric is make the battle lines sharper. We need to present our case in a manner that is clear, scriptural, and loving. If they choose not to receive it, then we are to shake the dust from our feet and move on.

        NewSpring clearly has no desire to address the issue further as they still, to my knowledge, have not spoken with Dr. Kelly or anyone else in SCBC leadership. It is likely safe to say that, at this point, NewSpring is lost to Southern Baptists in SC. We can either wring our hands over it, or we can shake the dust from our feet and be about the work God has called us to. I just don’t want to slam doors from my end by conducting myself in an unloving, attacking way. I want to see Southern Baptists in SC and beyond moving forward in a way that glorifies Christ and lifts high the Word. In so doing, we must ensure that our own methods do not dilute the message.

  44. Either the Holy Spirit did not directly inspire that sermon as Pastor Noble claims or the HS has a pretty poor command of Hebrew vocabulary.

    When a man “stands in the pulpit” and claims the authority to rewrite the Word of God there is a problem.

  45. Marcus, Several questions/ comments concerning your response post. First, why would a pastor who is deeply concerned about people being saved and the Word of Truth going forward, build a SBC church within one mile of a Bible teaching SBC church? There is something wrong with that idea. Is this a wise use of the finances the Lord has provided?
    Secondly, a few statements you made are part of a trend that is dangerous for those who believe it. Paraphrased, “many people have professed Christ under this pastor’s leadership.” Yes, it is widely said, even by Billy Graham, himself , that a mere 10% of those who go forward are genuinely saved/regenerated. People praying a prayer and walking an isle and being counted by the official church counter does not make or guarantee that one is saved. The book of first John teaches the proof of salvation while Jesus said if you love me, obey my commands. Of the 4 soils, only 1 shows picture of true salvation. Matthew 7 says that only few find the real path. The danger comes for the many who pray “the prayer” and are immediately welcomed in to the “True Church” and congratulated for making the right decision as if that pastor or any knows when it is very possible based on the scriptures I mentioned above and many, many more that that person could still be lost but feels confident since the pastor “said so”. And the pastor of New Spring or any puts a proverbial notch on his belt and proclaims to the world the number saved that day. Only the Lord knows the condition of the heart and is able, as in Acts, to tell us how many were added to the church that day.
    Lastly, one major mistake I noticed in the sermon is another danger and that is when any pastor believes God has just revealed to him a “new” Word as in the whole promise not command thing. Pushing aside the notion that one needs to study more since that’s already been discussed, what about the idea that this pastor thinks God tells him new info? God does speak to us – through His Word.

  46. I read each comment while traveling across the country, and I consider how many people this plane passed over worship in different manners,different styles,within and without denominational affiliation. While I believe that salvation is rendered by the grace of God through Jesus Christ, I also believe that I am not here to judge my fellow man. I see people commenting with snipit Biblical references, which are used to justify their faith and condemn others. To those folks I ask ” do you believe in Luke 20:28 ?”. Do you condemn the younger brother for not marrying his brother’s widow and reproducing with her? Maybe there is some interpretation in the scripture…

    It is awfully convenient and easy to foster the idea that the road to to salvation is through the doors of that church that many people attend which ” by the way ” was formed because your old church split because of the bickering between people who would rather be RIGHT than kind.

    I am not a member of NS . I have attended and have no problem attending in the future. I think that “feel good” is directly related to the fact that there is an understanding there that admitting spiritual progress is the goal rather than spiritual perfection which is of course inattainable. Yes I admit that their far reaching and deep reaching touch into the lives of those that have been shunned by the “high church” puts into question their ability to make these folks ” the right kind of Christians”. I personally don’t know an individual much less a group that does not need forgiveness.

    The NS style might not be your cup of tea, but that does not mean they are drinking Kool-Aid.

    PS . The Marcus Buckley’s of the world may hold the traditional Baptist Church together during challenging times. Great response!

  47. I seem to remember reading about a man named Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai with two tablets of covenant law we call the ten commandments. I remember reading about moses breaking those tablets literally into pieces. I wonder if the Lord forgave Moses? Yes, he did. The Lord actually gave the tablets of covenant law to Moses again. What a forgiving God who loves his people and loves for his people to serve Him.”That’s all I’ve got to say about that”

  48. To the author of this article: when you comment on the excoriations and lack of love, do you know this megachurch pastor teaches on his website that he thinks most other churches are cults?

    1. I have not taken upon myself to study NewSpring and Perry Noble in depth. My column was not defending them, but making an entirely separate point altogether about the response towards a statement of repentance and forgiveness and whether we are to accept it. I cannot say enough that I am not defending NewSpring and Perry Noble, and the reading of my column would make that abundantly clear.

  49. Pastor Buckley I would also like to hear your analysis of why James Duncan continues his onslaught not only against NS but other Christian organizations. I’m not sure why he seems to have appointed himself the overseer of these Christian organizations. He is continually saying that these leaders he is accusing will not listen to correction. Would you elaborate based on scripture why this continues? My belief is that this all began because of a root of bitterness. Seems to me James may need some correction from Godly leadership. I am not from SC but have watched this unfold since the beginning and it breaks my heart that Christians continue to kill one another.

  50. Marcus, why do you filter your comments and leave out responses to your article? I would understand it if they were inflammatory or full of foul language.

    1. A valid question. Since this is not an article defending NS, I don’t want it to become a place to attack it, either. And frankly, there may be a couple of comments I’ve missed because this blog is not my full-time thing, I’ve never had to deal with this many replies, and frankly I’m trying to figure out how exactly the technical workings of how this blog operates. I’m still having trouble making it do exactly what I want lol.

      I found a couple that I’ve since approved. There are also a couple that I’ve chosen not to. A sure way to not have one’s comments shared included inflammatory language, generalizations, and generally being angry and aggressive. My site, my rules. I can’t say enough, apparently, that I’m not condoning or approving NS. That was not the point of the article. I’m not going to let people use my site as a platform for their own agendas without policing it somewhat. I find I’m having to repeat myself a great deal, which tells me that some people are either not reading the article or are approaching it with their own filters so firmly ensconced that they can’t see. This applies to all sides, incidentally.

  51. With all due respect, how did this sermon on the Ten Commandments not deny the trinity? How did it not rebuke Paul?
    Rom 7:9
    Was it of the Holy Spirit of truth? Was it from the Father or Son? I believe it was from none other than the father of lies.
    9 For I was alive without the law once:but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
    (KJV)
    Enlighten me please!

    1. Please specify in what part of his sermon he specifically or inferentially denied Trinitarian theology or rebuked the teachings of the apostle Paul for declaring certain acts to be sin so I can respond more accurately.

  52. Not openly deny Trinitarian Theology, but to consult his friend and not Christ, who called them commandments, and we believe Him to have been given authority over heaven and earth, don’t you this this is blasphemous to the Holy Spirit, saying this came from Him. Don’t you think conversion is from God? Isn’t decisionism from man? Isn’t decisionism where a person is asked to do something other than a saving encounter with Jesus? Dont you think those people haven’t been converted to Christ but to NS? Without the law, don’t you think there is no sin? Do you think it is right to change the Word of God?

    1. Thanks for clarifying! I agree with what you’ve said here. He certainly made a massive hermeneutical mistake and, frankly, refused to back down in it initially. And this is certainly an object lesson in throwing around the phrase “the Lord told me.” He eventually apologized, clarified and offered a corrected meaning, and pledged to do better. Will he actually be able to avoid such exegetical errors in the future? One would certainly hope. It should be noted that granting forgiveness is not the same as a stamp of approval of the mistake. We do not have the authority to change the Scriptures, and we should not approve of those who do. But if we refuse forgiveness based on what someone may or may not do in the future, that is a slippery slope.

      As for whether or not people have been converted more to a church, a system of legalism, or a person other than Christ, this is a danger in virtually every congregation. The more people involved, the greater number could fall into such a trap. Christ alone is Head of the body, the church, and calamity comes when he is supplanted.

  53. I’m Baptist because I believe it’s doctrine bonds closest to biblical truth. I choose to hold membership with a Southern Baptist church because it’s doctrine is held to an accountability although autonomous. My main concern is not PN or his sermons (I’ve yet to be inclined to hear a full one), but to his followers who are exposed to possibly incorrect teaching. Don’t you think it is wise for pastors, not only the SBC president, to throw up red flags to PN and, especially his followers, to be alerted to these concerns? I do not believe the apology touched even close to the very heart of the matter.

    1. I am a Southern Baptist for the very same reasons. And I certainly agree that we need to call others to account. But before we can do that, it might be advantageous to do a point by point analysis of what was incorrect rather than generalize based on someone else’ statement. This is precisely why I asked of you what I did–I wanted to speak as clearly to your concerns as possible. By your own admission, you have not heard or read anything specifically that has come out of NS. It is always best to address specific concerns in order to get the greatest clarity and the best possible resolution. We cannot help provide clarity if we are not clear ourselves.

  54. Let me reiterate that I have been to NS (once), read, and seen plenty of controversy regarding this church in the past 15 years. A simple google search reveals plenty of provided evidence. I can certainly appreciate the rebuke from the SC SBC or any discernment of false teaching that provides facts.

  55. God says not to judge his people. Looks like this is all about judging.If Perry Noble is teaching the wrong things, then God is capable of handling him. God wants us to love everybody, not to judge them.

  56. My Family and I have attended NEWSPRING for they past 3 yrs. And we will stand behind our Pastor Perry Noble! He teaches nothing but truth something babtist can’t do. He keeps it real. He DOSENT disquess the Bible or try to cove n e thing up!! As the Babtist do and I know personally about being in he babtist church and falling asleep bc the preacher could speak a sermon a hour long and that he had to stretch the words out!! Can I get a “Amen”!!!! Get off Perry Noble if you wanna know about NEWSPRING come see for yourself!!!!

    1. If that’s directed at me, I’m pretty sure you didn’t actually read what I wrote. And lumping all Baptists together is no better than those who throw Perry Noble (and anyone else who does things differently) under the bus. One of the problems with today’s Internet driven society is the venom thrown so freely behind a computer keyboard when we don’t even know the one we’re attacking. I promise that no one is falling asleep at RBC Greer. (But then, I don’t preach for an hour and stretch things out, either ;). )

  57. Marcus, Good article. I am a member of NewSpring and have been for over 2 years. I know that Perry is a little rough around the edges at times but he has a remarkable gift in connecting with people. His messages are relevant and I have seen many come to Christ because the messages were to the point and sincere. I also have an M.Div. and am an ordained Southern Baptist. I don’t agree with everything that Perry says but for the most part, I have found his interpretation of scriptures solid. His delivery can be very direct at times but people seem to “get the deeper meaning of the message.” People also get that many of the songs that may not be spiritually centered are illustrative. Overall, they are always encouraged to come to Jesus for comfort and to come as they are. NewSpring has many amazing and wonderful people in service there and they are passionate about serving. People are coming to our church and many have never darkened the doors of any church before. They are drawn by the acceptance and love they are shown and the hope of Jesus that is displayed every week. God has blessed the efforts of NewSpring and I feel God’s presence every week. I do feel that I need to say that I have never heard Perry attack any pastor or any denomination the way he has been attacked. The attacks, I feel, are not led by God. It is sad to see and hear. Once again, I appreciate your thoughtful article. I don’t live to far from Greer. I love the foothills. My prayers are with you and your wonderful church.

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