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It’s time for this week’s installment of The Filter with Matt Steen and myself. What are we trying to prove?  Nothing, really… it’s just two normal guys talking about ‘churchy’ stuff… the things that interest us in the church and ministry leadership world. We hope that you will be challenged. We think you’ll probably disagree with us (at least once each week). But if love  Jesus, and the church, we think you just might like The Filter. Just sayin’.  Here’s this week’s episode for your viewing pleasure: SHOW NOTES: Why we need to let our online memories go (0:01) Schullers lose in big-time in court… still get $615,625 (4:05) Pat Robertson admits he missed God’s voice on the election… (6:10) Is John MacArthur going multisite? (12:25) When America’s Pastor Goes Gangham Style (15:19) Rick Warren on gay marriage (19:19) The Cheering Stops for Fireman Ed (24:50) The Annual Christmas vs Holiday Tree Debate (29:55) My Take: #GivingTuesday creates better Christmas narrative than Black Friday (33:20) True or False: If you’re not growing, something’s wrong (36:55) What would happen if North Point Church exploded (literally)? (42:50)

Here’s an interesting update from John MacArthur, speaking on multisite churches:
The first thing that comes to mind with multi-site pastors preaching on flat screens to people in another city is that it’s completely artificial….It’s artificial, it’s not real, it’s not reality….The most important of all the shepherds to be known and loved and understood and watched by the flock, is the one who teaches them the Word of God. The very basic requirement for a pastor is that the congregation can affirm that he is a godly man: they know his life, they know his wife, they know his kids, they know he manages his household well, they know how he lives, how he spends his money, how he behaves. All of that exposure is necessary to the confidence of the people in the pastor….Intimacy, connection, friendship, vulnerability, exposure, that’s essential to being a pastor. Any other approach is purely artificial and it has a way of making somebody famous without making them a real shepherd.
Found here.  (You’ll enjoy this article!) So… the answer is… John is not going multisite in the foreseeable future. Word to all the artificial multi-site pastors and churches out there:  Keep up the good work. But word to the wise:  If you REALLY wanted to spread the gospel… TV is where it’s at.  The 60 in. plasma in my living room beats out your 10 foot screen every day of the week (even if it is purely supplemental). Todd

John MacArthur says that America’s sins are akin to that of Israel’s and the nation was under divine judgment. “As somebody said a few years ago, if God doesn’t destroy America pretty soon, He’s gonna have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” According to the Christian Post: The head pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., MacArthur identified Israel’s six sins leading to six curses on that nation from Isaiah 5, saying those misdeeds were not isolated to Israel. “I look at America… people say what is wrong with this country. That is what’s wrong with this country. Right there. They have rejected the Word, the law of the Lord, the Holy One Himself.” Talking about the sin of arrogant conceit, he said America was guilty, too. It is “when a society does not want to hear from God, but wants to be its own authority where every man does that which is right in his own eyes and feels that he is the ultimate authority, he is the ultimate source of truth,” he explained. MacArthur added that America had corrupt leaders, too. The Hebrew words for “heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks,” as mentioned in Isaiah 5:22, referred to leaders, he said. “What do we have here? We have here, folks, Anthony Weiner type people…corrupt leaders. Is there ever any end to this corruption…who literally prostitute their position and justify wicked people for a bribe and take away the rights of the innocent people…politicians and leaders who can be bought.” You can read more here… What do YOU think?  Is America under divine judgment?  Will God have to apologize if he doesn’t destroy us soon? I’d love to hear your thoughts… Please take a sec to pop your comment below… Todd

Lifeway Research recently asked who the top living preacher that has most influenced Protestant pastors.  The number one answer:  Billy Graham (he had 3x the votes of the second name on the list).  Who came in second? Drum roll, please… Chuck Swindoll Rounding out the top ten: 3.  Charles Stanley (listen… listen…) 4.  Rick Warren (that purpose thing has really paid of) 5.  John MacArthur (wish I had something smart-allecky to say about Big Mac) 6. Barbara Brown Taylor (who?) 7.  David Jeremiah (a fellow Cedarville alumni) 8.  Max Lucado (way to go, Maxy) 9.  John Piper (Love John Piper) 10.  Andy Stanley (is he still alive?) Who would YOU put on the list?  And who are you surprised is NOT on the list? You can read more here.