Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gasoline on the bonfire of my excommunication.

Now that the jello has hit the fan, I feel free to share some of the scripture that God has been talking to me about. The Bold type is scripture from the New American Standard Bible

Today I am going to explore a couple of things that I mentioned briefly in my blog post, regarding the situation at The Edge Church. I think it is important for all believers to have a healthy understanding of how God functions in regard to human authority and how we should respond to it. There are a lot of verses in the Bible that mention authority, its establishment and our response to it. A couple real easy ones are

Epehesians 6:1-3

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 
Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 
so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

This was originally found in Moses' commands to the people of Israel after conversing with God on mount Sinai and is quoted here almost word for word.

Romans 13:1

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 
Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 
For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 
for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 
Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 
For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 
Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Now, these verses seem to indicate to some that there is never a time to question authority and yet, we also are told this story, about the early apostles and their conflict with religious leaders for teaching in the temple from Acts, Chapter 5

When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 
saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 
“He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 
“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Then we are also told to “test the spirits”, pay close attention to the last few verses for what I believe is the ultimate test. This is From 1st John, chapter 4

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 
They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 
We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 
By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 
We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 
We love, because He first loved us. 
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 
And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Regarding authority in the Church we are told in Epehesians Chapter 4

(particularly verse 11)

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 
Therefore it says,      “When He ascended on high,     He led captive a host of captives,     And He gave gifts to men.”
(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 
He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 
for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 
from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.


  So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 
being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 
and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 
But you did not learn Christ in this way, 
if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 
and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 
and do not give the devil an opportunity.

As to its exercise we have this from 1st Corinthians 12

For the body is not one member, but many. 
If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 
And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 
But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 
If they were all one member, where would the body be? 
But now there are many members, but one body. 
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 
On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 
and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 
whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 
so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 
And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 
All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 
All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 
But earnestly desire the greater gifts.

AS to participation by members of a congregation, other than a pastor we have this in 1st Corinthians 14

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 
For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 
But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. 
One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 
Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.
But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 
Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 
For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 
So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 
There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. 
If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. 
So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.
Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 
What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 
Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 
For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 
I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 
however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.

  Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 
In the Law it is written, “By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,” says the Lord. 
So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 
Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 
the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 
If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret;
but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 
But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 
For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 
and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 
for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Notice, that Paul does not suggest that anyone needs to “submit” these offerings before they are shared and that it is the prophets who are to pass judgment on their soundness and not the pastors.

The Idea of a “pastor driven church” was born in the seeds of the reformation, when people were coming out of the dark ages and being given a Bible in something other than Latin. Most of them were uneducated and could not read even the Bible's translated into their own languages. Ex-priests, leaving the catholic church began to serve as teachers for these congregations, who could not read and understand scripture for themselves, however this is an interesting passage in1st John chapter 2

These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.


(His, refers to Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit)

Or, how about 1st Corinthians chapter 2

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 
I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 
and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 
so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 
but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 
the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 
but just as it is written,      “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,     And which have not entered the heart of man,     All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 
which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 
But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 
For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

The Idea of “Unity” also gets mentioned a lot, but, is it good just to agree to agree? One of the darkest scenes in human history grew out of “being in one mind”. This story occurs in Genesis 11, right after the flood, which you would think would still be fresh on everyone's mind:

Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.
It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.
They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.
“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

The members of The Edge Church were asked to believe that it would be difficult for the members of our elder's board to agree unanimously to oust a pastor on a whim. I argued in favor of language in the bylaws to hold them accountable to the pastor and congregation in some small way. You can see where that ended if you read yesterday's post. BTW, for those of you keeping up with the “drama” during that meeting, I was out of line when I interrupted Greg. I was harsh and immediately said so, and asked his forgiveness.

In contrast to the story of Babel, a story that we did not delve into from our pulpit can be found in Acts chapter 1, starting in verse 15

At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, 
“Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 
“For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” 
(Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 
And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 
“For it is written in the book of Psalms,      ‘Let his homestead be made desolate,     And let no one dwell in it’; and,      ‘Let another man take his office.’
“Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 
beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 
So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 
And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 
to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 
And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

We, at The Edge, heard two or three weeks of teaching,  from this chapter without this story, one of the few physical snap shots of actual first century church "community" in action, even being mentioned. It seems to me that this kind of being, “in one accord” took everyone into account. It was not done in secret, between a few members, no matter how they were appointed. The 120 were in the same room throughout the entire process, a pattern you will find throughout the New Testament, that not everyone was welcome to say whatever the hell came to mind whenever, but they were welcome to witness God at work in the Apostles, even with a situation as sticky as Annanias and Saphira. (If you don't know, look it up, online is fine, but it is best to read the whole thing from the Bible, with the surrounding context) They decided on their criteria, had to have walked with Jesus, etc, put forward the two candidates who best fit and then they cast lots, flipped a coin, drew a straw, to keep human opinion at bay, they so trusted in God's providence that they risked it all.

I know, you think it's crazy or isolated, but...

Proverbs 16:33

    The lot is cast into the lap,     But its every decision is from the LORD.

And this from: Got Questions .org

The Urim "lights" and Thummim "perfections" were gemstones that were carried by the High Priest of Israel on the ephod / priestly garments. They were used by the High Priest to determine God's will in some situations. Some propose that God would cause the Urim and Thummim to light up in varying patterns to reveal His decision. Others propose that the Urim and Thummim were kept in a pouch and were engraved with symbols identifying yes / no and true / false.

It is unclear whether the Urim and Thummim were on, by, or in the High Priest's ephod. No one knows the precise nature of the Urim and Thummim or exactly how they were used. The Bible simply does not give us enough information. References to the Urim and Thummim are rare in the Bible. They are first mentioned in the description of the breastplate of judgment (Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8). When Joshua succeeded Moses as leader over Israel, he was to receive answers from God by means of the Urim through Eleazar the High Priest (Numbers 27:21). The Urim and Thummim are next mentioned in Moses' dying blessing upon Levi (Deuteronomy 33:8). The following Scripture likely also speak of the Urim and Thummim: Joshua 7:14-18; 1 Samuel 14:37-45; and 2 Samuel 21:1.

Weird, huh? Apparently there are times when God calls His people to trust so much in His Divine Providence that they take themselves out of the equation.

I know that some Edgers are thinking that I am suggesting that I wanted them to flip a coin to see if Britton or I should be pastor. Why would I want to take over a failing congregation? My motive in speaking up was simply that God told me to and would not let it go. I wanted to help save the congregation my family had come to consider as family, from the mess we were all in. I know mentioning this kind of “weird” stuff will get me labeled, but what the heck, I mean I already published a public “prophecy”, how much weirder can it get?

Now, about elders: I do not believe that the men who serve The Edge Church were properly ordained, or screened for Biblical qualification to this office. This is not a personal attack, it is a simple statement. Just as you have to be a natural born citizen, 35 years of age to run for President of the United States, which, thank God, may be the only thing standing between “Arnold” and the whitehouse, one of the few things concerning Church “government” ( a term that gives me the willies and conjures up all kinds of stories of abuse by these types of institutions, and no I am not talking about The Edge, when I am I will say so) that was set in place by the Apostles were the necessary credentials for eldership:

Here's a little more on that from a blog I found here:

http://inductivestudy.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/qualifications-of-elders-and-overseers-in-titus/

(Strong's, mentioned here, is Strong's exhaustive concordance of the Bible, which is a list of most words in scripture, with their Greek or Hebrew equivalent and a list of everywhere that that word is used in a particular meaning, it's like a Bible dictionary on Steroids, get one! Or use the online version for free, here: http://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/strongs-exhaustive-concordance/)

The Strong’s number for “elders” is 4245. The transliteration is “presbteros” and means “an old man, elder.” The translators used the English words “elder, elders, men of old, old men, older, older man, older ones, older women, and women” when translating this word. That, in a nutshell, is our word study.

We see that there was a list of qualifications in Titus,

I am adding these verses to the writing, since the author is referencing another blog post:

Titus 1


For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 
namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 
For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 
but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 
holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

--Now back to the Blog--

but we’ll see what else we can find out about Elders. To do that, we need to do some Cross-Referencing, which means to look in other parts of scripture where Elders are mentioned. We see from the Strong’s that “elders” are mentioned quite a few times – notice that they are mentioned in the New Testament before the birth of the church, as well as in the Old Testament. In looking through those scriptures, we see that the title “Elder” was one used in the Jewish religion, then borrowed and used in the Church. Because we’re studying the church and the positon of elder that would have pertained to Titus (and to us), we’ll look at the references of Elder after the birth of the Church in Acts 2.

In Acts 14: 23, we see Paul and Barnabas visited cities and appointed elders for them in every church. That lines up with Paul’s direction to Titus to appoint elders. In 1 Timothy 5: 17 it says that elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of a double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. We need to add those three things to our list: Elders rule, preach, and teach.

James 5:14 gives us more things to add to our list of elder’s jobs – elders pray over the sick, anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord (and should be available to come when called). You see that we’ve actually got two lists going – one of the Elder’s jobs, and another of his qualifications to be able to do those jobs. Interesting.

1 Peter 5: 1-4 gives us more information that falls under the “Elder’s jobs” list. They are to 1) shepherd the flock of God among them and 2) exercise oversight with a proper attitude. If they do that, they get an unfading crown of glory from the Chief Shepherd, which they will take off in Revelation’s accounts of elders.

What about an Overseer – Inductively

One of the things we wondered about in Titus was the use of the word “overseer.” Is he a different guy, or is “overseer” a different title for “elder”? Overseer is 1985 in the Strong’s and is transliterated: episkopos. It means superintendant or overseer. Let’s start a new list of things we learn about the overseer. 1 Timothy 3: 1-11 has a list of qualifications – above reproach, husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from love of money, manages his household well, not a new convert and have a good reputation with those outside the church. That sounds a lot like the list in Titus!

But we still are wondering if Elders and Overseers are the same guy, or are two guys. Acts 20: 28 will clear it up for us. In Acts 20: 17, Paul calls the elders of Ephesus to him and gives them his last words – he’s sure that he won’t see them again, so he hits them with his final wishes, and in doing so, answers our question. In verse 28, while talking to Elders, he says, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God.” So Elders and Overseers are the same guy! Now you know how to write your list of qualifications in Titus – all of those qualifications go to an Elder.

Okay, I am back and am adding this to avoid it biting me, because some will see me described here, and I am not above being subjected to scrutiny, and may be wanting in some of this, however, I do not believe this is referring to what I have done, pray, ask the Holy Spirit and make up your own mind, if you are even part of this situation. If not, sit back, laugh and enjoy the show, but please pray for The Edge Church, the Pastor, and Elders and the congregation.

Titus 1 continued

For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 
who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 
One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 
This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 
not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 
To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

Geesh, Paul, what a gossip monger, ratting this guy out for teaching falsehood.

Okay, well, I have lots more to share and will continue to do so. If anyone takes issue with my use of scripture, or my opinions, correct me, please! Please leave a comment, or email me privately at Markrmorris2@sbcglobal.net I want to do this Church thing right in the future.

May the God of Peace Guard Our Hearts and Minds in Christ Jesus

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I was just excommunicated in an email!

An open letter to the Interim Pastor, Elders and members of the Edge Church and members of Christ's church universal, his Bride.

Jesus Matthew 18: 15-

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
“But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.
“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
“Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.
“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
Forgiveness
  Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
“When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.
“But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
“So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’
“And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
“But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’
“So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’
“But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.
“So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.
“Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.
‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’
“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.
“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

This is what that looks like.

Mark and Angel Morris
It is with much thought and prayer that we wrote this letter to you. Your actions regarding the church, its staff and leaders have become divisive to the church congregation. Because of this, the pastor and elders are now requiring you, beginning immediately, to no longer take part in our church functions, meetings, assemblies, and or any other associations with the Edge Church.

The Elders, Pastoral team, and staff feel this is a very critical time for the Edge Church and all agree that it is important for us to be resolute in this decision so that the church can continue its quest of recovery from hard times that we have all experienced over the last year.

Edge Church Elder Board

Sent from the email account of Aaron Owen and brought to my attention through a speaker phone conversation this afternoon at about 3:30.

To which I responded, that is fine (angrily, I admit) then you need to carry this out correctly according to the words of Jesus in Matthew Chapter 18. To which they replied, or rather I believe it was Mike Arnett replied, We are not going to argue with you about this, it has been decided and there is going to be no further discussion. I asked them what the cause was, or what had I done. He replied that it was self eveident and needed no clarification.

To which I replied, Fine I will show up there myself and then you can explain why you are escorting me and my family from the premises, you F'ing cowards. (this is the first time I have lost my temper with this group, which took considerable control once you have heard the rest of the story. I am not proud of my conduct in regards to this conversation, and deeply regret that I lost my cool, but am not trying to hide anything. You can decide for yourself if anyone else is.)

What follows is an account from my blog, private journal and memories of the events that led up to this moment and my excommunication from the Edge Church. I believe, except where I willingly admit in this account, that I have conducted myself in an honorable and forthright manner and therefor have nothing to hide.

In July, or August, I don't remember because I didn't write it down, but many of you already are familiar with the date a letter of resignation from Israel Hogue, the founding pastor of The Edge Church was read in Sunday service. I was not there, but did later receive and read a copy.

The details of this situation were highlighted briefly, which is neither here nor there, and I addressed it in a blog post which I will include in its part of this time line.

The next Sunday evening a Church Townhall meeting was called in which the circumstances of this resignation were termed no longer a topic for conversation the elders. Mike Arnett, Andy Rasmussen, Tod Nickels, Aaron Owen and at that time John Savage, and one other whose name I have since forgotten had determined that talking about it would only make things worse and they said as much.

They outlined their plan. Britton Thurlough, one of our associate pastors, would be stepping in as interim. He would also be heading up the pastor search and we would be hearing from candidates over the next few weeks. Mark Ryan, our music minister, had been recently appointed as executive pastor and we were assured he was not going anywhere, but his wife would be stepping down as co-children's minister effective immediately. They then opened the floor for questions and comments, there were a few.

On the way home from that meeting my wife turned to me in the car and said, “I think you should do the job.” I laughed and pretended to blow her off. In my heart, I felt God say the same thing, when I heard that Israel had left.

I spent the next month praying and fasting and generally freaking out as to whether I should even say anything. Through that month, God continued to speak to me about it. I couldn't sleep, because my heart was heavy for The Edge and I wanted to know what to do to help. I immediately went to Britton and offered to help in any way. He offered nothing, but asked us to pray. So, we showed up every time the doors were open and did everything we could to serve.

In September my wife felt called to start a women's ministry since what had been there was connected to the pastor's wife, who was now gone. There was no one else prepared to step in, she asked if she could join up with the women who had done it and submitted her ideas to Britton. Here in her own words is why she did that.

My name is Angel and I volunteered to help plan the women's ministry. If you have attended the events or talked to me then you know why I have done this. For those of you who have not I wanted to let you know . There has been a lot of gossip in our church since our pastors have left, starting with why they left and then going on to everything else going on in the church. I believe transparency is key to defeating gossip that can quickly turn hurtful. So here is my story.

I became a Christian in the 2nd grade by watching a puppet show, and it changed my life. From that moment on I have always followed and trusted Jesus with the faith of a child. I have attended First Baptist Church, a penacostal church and ended up at MetroChurch when I was 15. Where I met my husband, the only man I have dated or kissed. I was blessed to seek God's guidence my entire youth and highschool years, which protected me from trying the things that kids often do. At Metro youth I fell in love with my husband and the light of God I saw in him. He, from the day I met him, knew the Bible and was always helping others, mostly girls at the time but that changed. He had an amazing family who's parents prayed for their children and showed me love that lasts to the end. We married the December after I graduated in 1991, and have been together since. I have found that marriage is work but it's worth it.

After we married we attended Metro Church till it ended, then went to LifeChurch, Bridgeway and NewChurch. We were looking for a place where everyone in our family fit and felt at home. We never found that till the Edge Church. We fell in love with the teaching the Bible, the worship, children's ministry, and the men's ministry. These were all important to us. Then the church changed.

I had attended the Edge for over 2 years and had created no friendships. This didn't really hit me until Kathrynne and Brittany were not there to say hello and talk to me on Sundays. When that happened is when I really felt alone. It occurred to me that Mark, my husband, had built many great friendships and knew a lot of the men in the church. He went to movies with them, they played poker, went on fishing trips, and ate breakfast together. I did nothing. It was because of this that I started to think what about the women. I began to get excited about making a women's ministry that could include everyone, create lasting friendships and help women with their daily life, because none of us should have to do life alone. When I began, I was surprised to hear from many women that I was not alone, in feeling lonely. I have been so ecstatic to see friendships being built and how God has been moving in those relationships.

It was my goal in working with the women's ministry to create an enviroment that was open for anyone who wanted to to serve. I believe that we all have gifts and talents and I want to help you see those used to glorify Jesus. The only things I have asked of the women on the committee is that they be willing to serve and they not overwhelm themselves by taking on to much.

It has come to my attention that people have said that I had other intentions for taking over the women's ministry. This is simply untrue. I was lonely and wanted to make sure that no one else was. I love doing the women's ministry. I love doing fun events, gno's, I even love the planning meetings. I really hope to move us to a place of discipling in the future. Where we are given a chance to find accountabity for the things we want to change in our lives, and we truly learn what the Bible teaches us about following Christ. It is my hope that the women's retreat will be a launch for this next step. Women are the foundation to our families. We all know that if the woman isn't happy then no one is. I hope this helps you all get to know me and why I am here.  (This was written prior to this afternoon, before the email)

Through this time she had to handle several difficult things. Some of the women who had been involved before felt they were not being heard, but they worked it out and held a few moderately successful events.

During this time I began to seek council on whether to declare what I was feeling or not. I talked with my father, a nearly forty year veteran pastor. I talked with several close friends, all four of my brothers and a long time pastor friend. My question to them was this, and I had asked Britton as well, Am I crazy to think this is even possible? These men, several of whom are quick to tell me when I am crazy, all of whom have known me intimately, or at least well, for years, to a man encouraged me to say something.

Sometime after the first of September, and I wish I had written more in my journal so that I could tell you the date, I asked Britton if he would meet with me to discuss something. We met at Vintage Coffee on 33rd in Edmond and I told him that I felt God was calling me to put my name in the hat for position of pastor. He revealed to me that he had recently declared his own candidacy only recently, in his words he hadn't been sure, but the elders had forced him to decide. So, again in his words, he might not be the best person to advise me. We talked for a wile, pleasantly and he informed me that since he had decided to be a candidate, Mike Arnett would be the man to talk to.

We met once after this at a meeting where I asked if it would be okay to start a Bible study, reading through the 90 day Bible, a program that breaks the scripture up into readings so that the whole Bible is completed in 90 days. He said to wait on that but it sounded good. I said I had heard that we had some issues in our community of moral concern (details don't matter) he asked what I thought should be done. My response was to take the opportunity for our community to go through the 90 day Bible, bringing them to the ultimate standard, so that opinions would not come into it more than humanly possible, and they would get a complete picture of what God is about, he again said good idea, but please wait.

Mike and I played phone tag until about the first of October at which time I met him at his office for lunch and we went to Panera bread to discuss the matter. I told him everything that I have outlined here to which he replied, you may be the one for the job, but Britton is the front runner at this time. Once everything settles and our commitment to Israel is finished after the first of the year I would have absolutely no qualms about suggesting you as an associate pastor, and he gave me a set of videos and asked me to look into a men's retreat, we also talked about the possibility of starting a study based on the 90 day Bible.

During lunch he also shared what he felt were pertinent details of the “situation” that had occurred and when I suggested talking the whole thing out with everybody, he whole heartedly agreed that that would be a good thing.

I went with the men on a fishing trip, during which I spent an entire day with Mike Arnett discussing many things, little having to do with this, since I had decided not to mention it.

I have been an active part of the Bacon Club and met with the men's council, I think for every meeting, or at least most of them. At one of these meetings I did express a strongly held belief that we didn't need to spend our money on marketing until we had our feet on the ground and had worked out our own junk, before bringing people in. I also told Mike Arnett and Andy, with Britton present at breakfast that I felt there were spiritual elements of the situation that were being ignored, after which they held kneel. ( a prayer meeting attended by very few)

On October 10 I wrote this which I shared with Britton after seeking council from a pastor friend and a man that he considered to be very knowledgeable when it comes to prophecy.

Here is a link to the blog post.

http://markrmorris2.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-that-got-me-busted-sort-of.html

I started going to the Warehouse for worship on Thursday nights. It was a wonderful time of worship. A few times I showed up early swept and set up chairs while my son Asher was at soccer.

Then I wrote this:

http://markrmorris2.blogspot.com/2010/11/edge-church-scandal-juicy-details.html

Britton had asked me to call him, so I did. That evening he expressed that he felt like I was trying to push an agenda. He told me that I was too forceful and needed to back off. He complained about my blog post, and asked why would I put all that out there to embarrass our church and make his job harder, he said he had been getting calls. I asked him what he thought of it, he said he hadn't read it and asked me to “back off” for a while. I apologized and asked him what I had done to make him say that. He told me that he felt like I was just waiting for him to screw up. I again apologized and we left the conversation with him telling me perhaps he had overreacted. That Sunday he came to me smiling and said he was putting together a team of men to study leadership, I said that was exciting, he said he wanted me to be part of it. During this time I shared this with no one. I did not place any phone calls to him facebook with him, or speak about the bible study, or any other ministry related issues through the Holidays, until after the New Years.

From my personal journal that no one but me ever reads

Today I had lunch with Britton Thurlow, or at least it was supposed to be with Britton. When I arrived, Ben Hill walked in, should have known things would get interesting. Britton showed up a little later, we ordered lunch and sat exchanging random pleasantries for ten minutes or so before we got to the topic. Britton asked me to refresh his memory regarding what I had in mind. I outlined a plan for a Bible study discussion group based on The 90 Day Bible that I have been talking with him about for four months,as outlined in a few of these other posts, he kept putting me off. So, he started into the same old song and dance, wait a few weeks until we get organized. I tell him I will, but if it takes longer I will probably go ahead and start a group with some friends, that I don't care if it's official. Then he drops the bomb, that he doesn't think I'm fit to lead a Bible discussion group, or anything else in his church. WHAT!??? So, I ask him why and get the damnedest response. He tells me that it has to do with the fact that I am too intimidating and I scare people with my confrontational attitude. Funny, he's never even seen me pissed off. So I probe further to discover he's been talking about me behind my back for months. A random "pastor" who doesn't know him, or me, saw my blog, looked him up and told him not to let me lead anything at his church, what the heck??!! Then he claims that( afriend of mine who I have not asked permission to reveal his identity) told him that he was glad I had not stayed at his Church. I feel like I am living in a nightmare. Where do these people get off? What is their problem? Why would they talk about me like this and think its okay. The stranger should have commented on my blog, (my friend) should have the balls to tell me the truth and Britton sat on this information for several months, letting me think everything was okay.  Really cool. So, what now?

Just so you know, I am not a “saint” in the holier than thou way of speaking, but I was the son of a Church of Christ minister and I don't use strong obscenity in print, even in my own personal writing, so this is unedited.

The conversation continued and I said some things to Britton about the fact that I felt he was holding back in his preaching. I encouraged him to share everything with us, because what we were getting was not teaching, or inspiring, and while I don't think we should be looking for a ring master, if we were going to only have Sunday service, please give us everything that I can see is in you! Then he awkwardly drove me home and we talked on the way. I apologized for the way I shared the things I shared, he said he knew I would be upset and didn't blame me. We agreed to meet, because, he said, he needed to see my humility before we could work together and that if he became pastor we might never be able to work together in ministry because out personalities were just too different.

I went inside and wrote the blog post you just saw and posted this on my Facebook.

To the anonymous “pastor” who was so offended by one of my blog posts that he felt it necessary to call the interim pastor of the Edge Church, Britton Thurlough, to tell him that I was unfit would he next time please leave a comment, or call me or email me.

After my lunch, my wife sent this:

Dear Elders of the Edge Church,


My name is Angel Morris. Most of you know me as the mother of the eight kids and Mark's wife. Some of you may know me through your wife, as I have been working on creating a strong women's ministry at the Edge church that unites the women of our church. My husband and I have been married for over 19 years. We met in a church youth group and have been in church and served in church for our entire lives. We have attended the Edge Church for over 3 years and love our church and our friends that we have there. We have committed to stay, serve and do whatever is necessary to help our church through this difficult time. My husband does not know I am writing this to you and would not agree with what I am doing, however I feel that my family has been greatly offended without cause or reason by the interim pastor. He has been told that he is unfit to serve in our church. Mark is a strong man of God who knows the Bible, I would dare say, more than the majority if not all of the people in our church. He is continually trying to follow and honor God and His word. I am beside myself with disbelief at what has been done to him. He has done nothing wrong. His only offense is that Britton does not like his personality. His request that got him said treatment, was wanting to start a group that read the Bible in 90 days together.

This in a church where ( this section has been edited because the information shared was sensitive and regards personal moral issues in the lives of people we love) My husband is a man of character. He does not get drunk and never has a day in his life, he has been the man of one wife and if you truly want to see what kind of man he is, spend time with his children. They are a true testament to his character. They are respectful and kind to others as well as strong thinkers encouraged to have their own opinions.

I am tired of watching my friends leave. I am tired of seeing the wisdom and pillars of our church walk away because they are unhappy with the direction that Britton has taken our church. I fell in love with our church because it was scripturally based. The Word was taught. Now it is not. We no longer serve the others. We have been left with a great number of immature Christians. I am constantly be told by those leaving and some who have stayed that he has changed everything and I agree. But now, he has chosen to hurt and offend someone for speaking God's word, to protect people who might be offended by it. Isreal was a man who spoke the word of God without fear and Britton, in my opinion is the complete opposite. He is afraid of the doing anything that would hurt others including sharing the Bible.

I know you are all in a difficult position and making hard choices, and I pray for you often. I am extremely sorry to add to that, but I feel I no longer have a choice to remain silent.

I am willing to serve in anyway needed in our church, I am a graphic designer and am willing to work for free. (you can see my banners in front of Bob Moore and Edmond Hyundai) I will sweep, work, attend and do anything needed of me to help our church succeed and follow the mission that once made it great.
Angel Morris


The next night, this happened:

After a really hard conversation with a friend who informed me he was facing some very tough temptation and needed my prayer and advice, I went to Warehouse to worship. Toward the end, I went to ask Britton to pray with me. He said, I think its awesome that you want me to pray with your for your friend but how can you ask that after you bad mouthed me on Facebook all day, I have been getting calls from the elders. Did you read it yourself? I asked, no he had not. I told him I didn't think that was fair. I told him what I had posted. He told me he never said the man was a stranger to him and revealed that he was Josh Kouri, the pastor of Frontline Church. After which he said. I didn't want it to come to this, but, Disciple and Ben and I have discussed it and you and your family are not welcome here anymore. I told him that that would only work for me if he was willing to handle it under Jesus' terms, as very specifically outlined in Matthew 18 at the beginning of this post. He immediately said if he was wrong he would back off. I then asked him if he could not see that I was infinitely in love with Christ and wounded by the way the Church was being run. He shook his head no. I sais, you do know that I am saved and have been a believer since childhood, to which he replied that he did not believe that. I told him that no matter whether I was at Edge Church or not, they could run it one of two ways, God's way (Biblically) or by man's opinion. Judge for yourself what they have chosen.



We were at Church last Sunday, he scheduled a meeting with me on Tuesday at 9, later on in the week over Facebook, then this happened today.



I have been in conversations in the last week with several men in this congregation who have serious doubts and issues with our pastor and elders. I approached them with every concern I had about the way things were not handled the increasing gossip and hostility toward Mark Ryan, Katherine, Israel and Brittany, who have all been the villain in at least one story version I have heard over the last week. I met Mark the other day, the details are not you business. I told him I was sorry for believing what someone else said, about someone else's version of the story, without ever talking to him. For those of you have sent him hateful messages, and attacked those who have remained his friends, shame on you, no matter what happened.



The elders have spoken and now I have said my piece. There are rumors that I was trying to take over, what army general submits his “takeover” plans to the enemy general. They won't answer me as to why they have made this decision and no accusations have been made against me in my presence. This is not meant to be a defense, but rather my side of the story.



Edge Church. Do not believe the lie that says you are not allowed to question “God's annointed”. The word pastor is mentioned one time in the singular in your New Testament. Every other time it is translated as “elders” and is typically discussed in plurality. Here are the qualifications listed for Elder and some exposition, I make no claim about its correctness, but do not have time or strength to share what I think in depth.



http://www.opc.org/OS/html/V3/4e.html



It is your job to judge the Spirits, whether they be from God. Fathers, you are called to be the prophet and priests of your own family to guard them against the wiles of the enemy, including false teachings.



In that light, ask yourself one question: Would you agree to be an officer of any corporation without A: reading the bylaws, B: Finding out what your obligations and responsibilites were, let alone wait until the corporation was deeply in debt ($1.3 million dollars) with a heavy monthly obligation ($15000) to even ask where they were? Or be able to give an answer as to what your duties are as a Biblical elder?



Mike, Andy, I have loved you guys like brothers and still believe you to be men of integrity who are making some very interesting choices. Britton, this is me coming to you to say that you have sinned against me. You started out great, but I am not the only one who questions if your intentions are still selfless.



I know many of you will be angry with me, for airing our “dirty laundry” that this is “family business” but here is what I have to say. ALL of us know that a former king of Israel killed his best friend and stole his wife, because its recorded in scripture for all posterity. All of us can read about Christians who were committing adultery, incest and engaging in temple prostitution, none of which got them excommunicated. It was written in a public letter to those congregations then copied, sent elsewhere and was eventually recorded in the Bible. I do not feel one ounce of guilt for sharing any of this, and I will swear to its truth in front of anyone.
 
The Edge Church is not an isolated little community. It is a part of the Body of Christ. What you do there effects the entire Bride of Christ. WE, as the Church, are the culmination of history, creation, the crucifiction, the resurrection and His second coming are all because of us and if we do not care enough to get Church as right as humanly possible, we should stop breathing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Explanation of my Previous Post

The "associate" pastor I mentioned in my previous post, was not Britton Thurlow. Where he was mentioned, he was mentioned by name. Nothing that I wrote in this post was intended to reflect badly on him. He has received several calls from people that told him I was calling him a terrible pastor. Let me be very clear. I have nothing bad to say about Britton Thurlow. Any issue that I have, or ever will have, with him has or will be aired between the two of us. I believe him to be a man who loves the Lord and wants to see his Kingdom. The only "beef" I have with anyone has to do with people who feel so strongly about something I have written that they would bring a negative report to someone else without first bringing this offense to my attention. This, I believe is un Biblical, and furthermore,  goes against even common courtesy, in an attempt to avoid conflict.

Furthermore, I have since been informed that the pastor I was referring to was not the pastor that contacted Britton Thurlow. That man was calling in reference to my blog, having never met me, but knowing Britton previously, which I was made aware of tonight.

My posts were not intended to cause friction or division, or lessen the love between believers, but rather to open up a secretive situation and explain to people who asked about my FB post, asking the pastor who did not like my blog to please let me know the next time, as I believe is the Biblical mandate, and is the courtesy I would extend to him, and will, now that I know who he is. I have nothing but love and great expectations for the people of The Edge Church. It has been brought to my attention that several of them, as yet unnamed, have found me to be confrontational, to the point that they are mentioning this to others. I had no intention of causing strife, just the opposite, I believe that  open and transparent communication is the key to intimacy in groups of believers and that secrecy and deceit are the tools of the enemy, whatever form they come in. This is not to say that I do not believe in keeping confidence, I do. The scripture teaches that love covers a multitude of sins. This should not extend to the secret discipline, or dismissal of leaders or members in any Church, nor the covering up of sin that effects an entire congregation negatively.

In the words of Christ from Matthew 5:23-“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,


leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

“Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

“Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
 
This is me opening myself up for rebuke and correction. Members of the Edge Church, others that have known me I am asking for your forgiveness if I have offended you in any way. If there is any offense that I have committed against you and am unaware of, please send me an email: Markrmorris2@sbcglobal.net, call me at 405-848-9527, or leave a comment on this blog to let me know so that I can make it right. It has never been my intention to do anything that would discourage or hinder anyone in their walk with Christ, or to disrupt the unity of believers.

The Blog That Got Me Busted, Sort Of.

Wow, this is a little scary, because many of you will now know just exactly how big a freak I am. Please read the entire preface before reading what comes after.

Yesterday I had a conersation that revealed a very interesting phone call that had been made because of me. The contents of the conversation are not a part of this, because I have agreed that some things that were said had validity, and further agreed to a course of action to deal with those issues.

I was mistakenly under the belief that my blog was the source of the phone call that I referenced in this facebook post.

-To the anonymous "pastor", who claimed not to know me, but was so offended by my blog that he found it necessary to look up the interim pastor of the Church I attend, who was also a stranger to him, to tell him I was unfit to serve. Please leave a comment, or call me 848-9527, or email Markrmorris2@sbcglobal.net next time. Matthew 5:23-


It was not apparently the blog, but this prophetic word that I shared with Britton Thurlow, interim pastor of The Edge and another local pastor I have known for over two decades. I had not intended to make it public, but circumstances have force my hand. This is something that came out of over a month of prayer for The Edge, up until all hours of the night, walking through my neighborhood at night, talking and listening to the Holy Spirit.

So, here's a little background. From time to time in my life, during intense times of prayer and Bible reading, I have felt compelled to write out the impressions that God has placed on my heart. Typically I hear it almost audibly and transcribe it as it occurs to me without stopping until I hear nothing more. I don't know how many peopel experience this, but I know I am not the only one. These "prophecies" or words, whatever, are generally about important decisions I am facing, or have proceeded times of volatile change in my life and contain specific, some times time oriented details, and all of them have always played out. Most of them have been for me and my family and I have not shared them. On October 11th, 2010 I wrote one of these that pertained to more than just me.

Since I do not relish the idea of claiming to be a "Prophet" (complete with my own front parking space marked with a sign reading Reserved for Prophet Morris, yes I have actually seen these) I prayed about for several days, then carefully chose someone I could trust to share it with. I then independently confirmed the things in it with another man who has received similar messages from God, he had jotted down some of the same details days previous (I know Weird, huh?) So I decided to share this with Britton Thurlow, the interim pastor of The Edge Church, as previously mentioned. He received it, as he should, with healthy skepticism and asked what I thought needed to be done about it.  Having no agenda I told him that I had no agenda, and did not know specifically what to do and we left it at that.

My other pastor friend was helping a local associate pastor walk through a situation wherein he was working to correct a detrimental behavior in the life of his own senior pastor. He had spoken with the man in private, as outlined in scripture, and had received an affirmative and repentive response. This was fine until the action was repeated the next week. The associate pastor in this story determined that he needed to contact his elder board to discuss appropriate steps. This man received a copy of my word from my dear friend., without my knowledge, request or consent (which is fine) and that copy made it to the unrepentant pastor, who took it upon himself to call Britton and tell him I was unfit. Here is that infamous word. Read it for what it's worth. DO NOT try to run your life by it, or spend time sorting it out, it won't work. Either the things will happen, the people will repent and avoid them, or I am a crazy lunatic for even sharing this in such an open forum and completely delusional and wrong in what I feel I heard.

Disclaimer: I do not know who any of the unnamed people or groups are. This is not a judgment from me, only a surprising revelation I feel I heard from God and did not want to share at all, but has been made public through the circumstances outlined above. I thought I should at least explain myself.

For those of you who don't know anything about prophecy, you might want to read 1st Corinthians 14 before proceeding.



This is what I hear God saying regarding the Edge Church and the current situation that we
find ourselves in:

First it is essential that all the sin be taken care of, in every one's life. All willing sin needs to be repented of immediately because a test is coming and only those who are pure in heart will survive it. God is going to shake us to our very foundation, the hard part hasn't even started yet.

There will be six weeks of calm, starting now, this is a breather. After this the waves will hit one after the other, six total waves, each larger than the last. They will come in two week intervals and cannot be expected or prepared for, but they are coming. During this time heroes will arise in your midst to shore up the walls and make the community safe. You will not even lose one sheep that is rightly set in this pasture, not even one, so don't concern yourself with those who leave, in this season, there will be time to go after them later.

Once this twelve weeks is done, the wall will be complete, it will be time for teaching to return to the house. The spirit of Ezra will arise and men will be established as those who understand and rightly divide my word. They are going to build a deeper foundation under these walls than was ever there to begin with. They will reestablish the forms of worship and sacrifice that I have ordained for this house, and I will bring the leaders I want in this house, your job is to discern which ones are of me, and which are for themselves. There will be those coming who hear my voice, but choose to ignore it, do not let them in, even for a moment, they are dangerous.

At the end of this time, the calm will return. Do not assume that you should wait, that is the time to gear up and be ready for an influx of people. There is going to be three major iceberg type scandals that will rock three major mega-churches that have a presence here. They are not your concern, do not warn them, that is being taken care of. There are three and many, many bodies will be thrown into the water. Your job will be as a lifeboat to row out into the water and locate those that want to be rescued and bring them to safe harbor. Those that do not are to be left alone, if they resist at all leave them alone. I am still dealing with those.

Incorporate these new members into your community but do not trust them with the sheep. Some of them are still too steeped in the methods of these other houses to be of use, they will kill your sheep. They need time to come around, to recover from the things they have been taught. Do not listen to their ideas, they are not from me, they are part of what has destroyed these other houses.

In time to come, one or more of the dethroned leaders will wash up on your door step, water logged, looking for a home. Do not take him into your fellowship. Keep him close, but not inside. Offer him aid, but give him no opportunity to speak or share. That is part of my dealing with him. His pride will still be such that he is a wounding force. Nurse him back to health, he will be integral in what comes next.