New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 22, 2007 07:20AM

GabrielVW says,
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I was a part of Newsong for over five years and have been involved in many aspects of the ministry. Currently I am a full time youth pastor at a church in Olympia WA.

He says,
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There is a board of elders that meet and the Pastors of the churches fall under their authority.

But is the board of elders elected by the congregation? Who selects the board of elders?

He also says,
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As far as an “independently audited financial report.” Honestly, I’ve never asked for one so don’t know. I do know that at the end of each year we received a “giving statement” for tax purposes from the church. And I know that I had met an individual who did accounting for the ministry. Just knowing how open the ministry is with all its information and the work they do with the city, I assume there is such a report available upon request.

However, GabrielVW doesn't know after five years anything more specific than this. That is, if Newsong has a published report that details all salaries and expenses, which has been independently audited.

BrianWA says,
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Accountability and preparation for leadership are vital, but those things sound more "American" than "biblical." ...but the model of democratically electing our leaders is not quite the model we see in the scriptures.

Does this mean there are not democratically elected boards at Newsong voted upon by the whole membership of the congregation?

Please be very specific.

BrianWA goes on to say,
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We are supposed to submit our culture to scriptural truth, not the other way around. Americans love to insist on their 'space' but that's really not a concept the Apostles taught.

Newsong is beginning to sound just a bit totalitarian.

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: GabrielVW ()
Date: January 23, 2007 02:22AM

In my undergraduate studies accounting was not one of my strong suits and is, frankly, of no interest to me- I trust the accountants who are hired by my church and the fact that they report to the government is enough for me personally (plus I know that there are others in the church with better financial skills then me who are keeping an eye on things!) And I’m not sure how (and even surprised that), because I “after five years” have not taken an interest in the financials of these churches that this is something that you, rrmoderator, seem to want to make look shady. Again, if you REALLY want to know and are HONESLTY concerned about this, perhaps you should call the church and ask for the report.

I am disappointed that you, the “moderator” of this chat board, would be so quick to assume and label a church you have not taken the time to contact or even research as being “totalitarian.” I do not want to seem defensive here BUT “totalitarian” is NOT a light term to be thrown around!! This is a VERY serious accusation against any church or ministry!!! There are many types of church structure and government in the United States today- At Fuller Theological Seminary we discussed and learned about some of these- currently there are over 23,000 different types of “Christian” churches in the US according to one professor. There is the house church, the large denomination governed from a distance, there in connectional church governments, etc. The three typical categories are 1. Episcopal 2. Presbyterian 3. Congregational. (although, most churches would probably be a combination of or a variation of these three). In my opinion, Newsong falls more along the lines of the Presbyterian style of church government (not to be confused with the Presbyterian Denomination- there is a difference). You, rrmoderater, seem to be a fan of the “congregational” church structure (where the government of the church lies primarily in the hands of the members of the body- who vote on everything and have a say in every aspect of the church from the color of new carpet to the head pastor). If this is the ONLY type of Church YOU approve and all others are to be labeled as “totalitarian” then you have disqualified a HUGE percentage of churches and denominations in the US (and even more around the world.) And this is not even taking into consideration basically every church plant out there… I’ve never heard of a church planting a new church where those who start attending the church can simply vote out the leadership, pastor, etc. Even in congregational style churches! Have you?
The important key regarding Newsong is whether the pastor and other leaders are under authority and have close accountability- such as a board of elders, etc. This is exactly what Newsong, Destiny, Crossing all have. (the church was well established long before I came along and so the leadership very well may have been elected- you could find out with a quick phone call)

The way you, “moderator,” structured your last posting seems clear that you are working very hard to show these churches in a poor light and you seem intent on inferring and assuming things without actually being willing to look into it or contact the church offices yourself. I joined this chat to help inform and share what I could… yet I’m beginning to wonder if this is really a place for learning or if it’s a place for the disgruntled to slander churches. If you really cared about the truth in this you would have asked more questions of those of us in this discussion or contacted the churches- instead you asked no questions but stated “Newsong is beginning to sound just a bit totalitarian.” I had considered the Rick A. Ross Institute site a trustworthy resource for learning about and keeping informed on dangerous ministries and cults- you have made me strongly question this. If every church that has a few people leave it in bitterness and frustration is now on trial as “cultish or dangerous” then EVERY church is in trouble. Have you EVERY seen or been part of a church that has perfectly pleased every single member???

Why did you not simply describe what YOU consider to be a “totalitarian” type of church and ASK for our opinions on where Newsong falls or explain how it is or is not? I would have been happy to discuss this with you and look at what a “totalitarian” church is defined by and how Newsong is CLEARLY not one. I am not here to defend Newsong, I will not get sucked into backbiting and church division and I will not be a part of slander, insults or rumors!

I work with so many churches and leaders in Olympia and if I formed my opinions based on the things said by those angry with the churches, holding different theologies and practices and who only had partial information than I could easily be convinced that all those churches were dangerous and cultish… instead I have been willing to do the hard work of sitting with, talking with, asking the question of the leaders and ministries and found that despite some differences in minor theology and practice, they too have a heart to serve the Lord and show His love to those lost in darkness that they might be saved by Jesus. This is where our unity comes and this is why we can work together to reach the lost and help the needy… whether they have an Episcopal, Presbyterian or Congregational form of church government.

Rrmoderator, If this discussion board continues in the tone of your last posting then I will not be able to be a part of it… if however, there is a real desire to seek information and work to make an informed decision then I would be happy to continue. You learn quickly in seminary that bitterness is the only result of discussions based in bias without the heart to work to make informed decisions- and I believe unity in the body of Christ is far too important to let this happen- so again, I will not be part of that!

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 23, 2007 06:25PM

GabrielVW says,
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accounting was not one of my strong suits and is, frankly, of no interest to me- I trust the accountants who are hired by my church and the fact that they report to the government is enough for me personally

OK. So you "trust" rather than verify and have no indpendently audited report to cite published by Newsong, which details salaries and expenses.

This means Newsong has no meaningful financial transparency according to your five-year experience and as a "youth pastor," you have no further information.

You also have not explained how the board of elders at Newsong gained their positions. Were they elected by the general membership, hand picked by the pastor or what?

You came to this board and began flooding it with posts claiming you could answer questions and had direct experience, yet you seem unable to answer very simple questions about how Newsong is run.

Sorry that you are "disappointed," but when you come to a public board and post you should expect to be asked questions.

If you are really interested in providing answers about Newsong you could cite the church constitution and bylaws detailing its process of government, e.g. elections, elders selection, pastors accountability etc.

And you could also cite the publication dates of audited financial reports distributed to members and the type of detailed information that they contain.

Churches are not required to disclose such detailed information to the IRS, but most Protestant churches do disclose detailed informantion through regularly published financial reports to their congregation members.

And most Protestant churches do have democratically elected church government, through regular elections.

It seems that Newsong has neither meaningful financial transparency or democratically elected church government.

OK.

People are free to join whatever type of church they like. Some join churches without democratic checks and balances and meaningful financial transparency, while others do not.

IMO--churches with checks and balances through democratically elected church government and meaningful financial transparency are safer than those churches that do not have such safeguards.

Sorry you don't like the "tone."

Perhaps if you do not want to answer such basic questions, or cannot answer them, you should not put yourself in such a position on a public message board.

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: GabrielVW ()
Date: January 24, 2007 08:56PM

The purpose of this posting is to apologize!

Clearly I had my own incorrect expectations and understanding regarding this discussion board… I also apologize for “flooding” this discussion with postings… I sincerely and simply only meant to address the concerns, questions and statements made in previous postings. And I never meant to give any impression that I had ALL the answers or that i spoke for the Newsong. I just wanted to offer what I had and what I knew about a ministry that has been instramental in helping me grow closer to the Lord and teaching me biblical truths for my walk with Jesus. I am not here to argue or to try to defend a ministry I beleive has the Spirit of the Lord upon it.

Rrmediator, I personally want to apologize to you. I took offense and was frustrated at the opinions you seem to have formed. It is certainly your right to hold whatever opinion you want and it is certainly wrong for me to become angry at you for that regardless of whether I disagree or not! For all this and for writing my last posting out of that frustration, I ask your forgiveness!!! I also apologize for the way I clearly offended you with my posting. I am extremely sorry for having caused that and any division with a fellow follower of Christ!!!! Again, I do ask your forgiveness!

Also, my comment regarding the Rick A. Ross Instatute ministry (“strongly questioning” the institute as a trustworthy source) was inappropriate!!! I sincerely apologize and retract my statement! I pray the Lord would bless and anoint this ministry with wisdom and discernment as it works to pull people out of dangerous and cult situations and educate others of such dangers!

Finally, for those genuinely concerned about Newsong (or any other church) I again recommend that you contact the church offices and/or leadership of the church and ask the hard questions of them so that you can have first hand information to form your opinions with. Every coin has two sides and this forum cannot answer every question or concern you have (and may have even answered them with incorrect information).

That you for allowing me to have been a part of this discussion!
Gabriel

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 25, 2007 05:37PM

GabrielVW:

I have no opinion of Newsong and am not offended by your posts.

I simply aksed you some basic questions about how the church is run, which you either would not or could not answer.

Apparently, Newsong has no general elections regarding leaders, elders, boards, etc. or it seems you would have known about this by participating in such elections during the past five years of your involvement there.

It also seems that there must be no independently audited, published and widely distributed financial report detailing Newsong salaries and expenses, or you would have known about this too.

The Ross Institute is not a "ministry."

It is a nonprofit educational efffort that promotes no particular religion or theology. There is information about a wide range of groups and leaders available through the database and message board, including some religious groups.

See [www.culteducation.com]

Finally, you may believe whatever you wish about Newsong. And asking simple questions about the church is not arguing, nor should it require and/or prompt a defensive attitude.

Please don't post contact information, which is against the rules.

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: oldschool ()
Date: March 03, 2007 07:28AM

When I first heard about the church I had some qusetions. But I've actually gotten to know New Song and I've spent time with church members and leaders.

I see nothing but biblical living and ministry coming from this church and these people. I also know several couples who had marriage problems but through the ministry of New Song their marriages were restored.

I've been around a cult before and I don't think these guys are a cult. Jesus said; [i:7d98838e13]They shall know you're my disciples by your love for one another...[/i:7d98838e13] these guys at New Song really love people, not just church members but everyone I've every seen them around.

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: March 03, 2007 10:22PM

oldschool:

Look back on this thread.

It appears that New Song doesn't have meaningful accountability through democratically elected church government or independently verified financial transparency.

Apparently it's run something like a dictatorship.

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: oldschool ()
Date: March 09, 2007 06:41AM

Good point [b:b9b578419c]rrmoderator[/b:b9b578419c]! I guess we shouldn’t look at the fruit of a ministry, just at how they're structured. That should give us a real good idea if they're a cult or not.

After all, we know that Jesus would have never run a ministry that really helped anyone unless it met [u:b9b578419c]all[/u:b9b578419c] of the "democratically" set rules of the religious community. Right? Just because He healed someone doesn’t carry any weight. After all, He did it on the Sabbath and that's against the rules set by respected leaders like you and me. Forget the fact that He healed people or ever helped anyone - he was a lawbreaker and that makes Him a cult leader. Right?

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: March 18, 2007 07:05PM

oldschool:

Comparing "Jesus" to current leaders is not a meaningful analogy.

These leaders are not "Jesus."

Democratically elected church government is a meaningful system used to keep human beings in line.

As the old adage goes, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

What you are attempting to defend is totalitarian-like control--essentially a dictatorship without meaningful accountability to the church membership through an elected board or financial transparency through audited annual reports detailing salaries, compensation and expenses.

Of course if you wish to worship under a dictatorial regime that is your choice. But most church members don't and democracy is practiced by the overwhelming majority of Protestant churches.

New Song City Central - Tacoma, WA
Posted by: brios58 ()
Date: March 31, 2007 01:25AM

I have met several people that attend New Song,Destiny and now Crossings. The problem Ihave seen with these churches is there teachings that Christians have generational sins, curses, soul ties and demons (generational demons) inner healing..
I have read the notebook on Freedom Praying and I cannot see freedom as in the word of God. I see bondage and I have heard that they have taught pastors in the community the same teachings transformation and empowerment T&E praying, freedom praying. There is much emphasis on inner healing and doing the 4R praying over your past sins, families sins, and ancestors sins. Clovercreek was the founding church. Their pastor, Mike Riches did not go through seminary but is now doing it at a Lutheran seminary in Tacoma, WA. He taught that he heard from God and God told him their church should sell and move to Tacoma where the harvest is. People say that this teachings has healed their marriages, etc.
However, the church split over these teachings. Dr. Ed. Murphy and mark
Bubeck are some of the people that taught their church these teachings.
Teachings similar to Nova Shalom and Marriages Ministries International which foundation was on experience and not the word of God.Old Testiment Scriptures are taught and hearing from God, prophecy, and from what I see it is not freedom but bondage and another gospel. When I heard Mike Riches teaching in a seminiar in Puyallup he quoted scripture short to prove we had generational sins. They closed the doors and no one could leave or enter. The people seemed very emotional and the whole thing was concerning indeed. I doubt many know the word of God.
People were into what he said and he was quoting scripture short. Very short.When I spoke to him he did not answer me. I pointed out that he quoted short. Harbor covenant in Tacoma has split over their pastor teaching the same teachings. He is very much into attending Destiny and New Song and teaching what they teach. This split their church. I see new song and Destiny and the Crossing as very harmful to the body of Christ. "Whoever the Son sets free is free indeed." This is not freedom but adding to God's word and taking away what Jesus did on the cross.

Glenda

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