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One year ago today, January 2, 2012, I made some ‘mostly fun’ predictions for the church and ministry world for 2012.  Let’s see how I did: Ted Haggard. Ted Haggard will again get headlines for something we wish he wouldn’t.  (And his upcoming appearance on Wife Swap doesn’t even count).  I predict that Ted will say or do something this year that will make us all want to hide under a rock. Ted was pretty quiet in 2013.  Looks like it’s me hiding under a rock. Pat Robertson. Speaking of rocks, and our desire to stone someone, Pat Robertson will sometime this year, say something that will embarrass every Christian in this country.  It could be racial, it could be silly, but it most probably will be something that will again show the world that he should have given his broadcast chair to his son a few years ago. What I lacked in my Ted Haggard prediction, I made up for in Pat Robertson’s.  Just do a search here on Pat and you’ll see what I mean. Perry Noble. I predict that Perry will get ‘really pumped’ about SOMETHING this year. I think even the most liberal judge would say I won this one.  🙂 Steven Furtick. Steven will really freak out if, in fact, the sun really does stand still for a day. Didn’t happen… thank goodness. Megachurch Merger. Look for a megachurch merger sometime this year.  A couple of really big churches making really big impacts will decide that they can make an even more colossal impact if they join forces. Not like I thought it would.  But watch out… it’s coming. Other Church Mergers. While mergers have been happening for years, I think 2012 will see the speed up of the number of mergers happening in churches of all sizes.  Most of these will be healthy churches that will be taking over struggling churches.  Many churches that have considerable financial resources but are quickly dying will be looking for alternatives, and partnering with a local healthy church that will come in and carry on the legacy will look very appealing. New Birth / Eddie Long. More hard times for some large churches though.  I predict that Eddie Long will no longer be the pastor at New Birth by the end of 2012.  The latest divorce and marriage breakup will be the last straw as that ministry fights to survive with or without Long. The Bishop did have a rough year… really rough.  But, he’s still the head at New Birth.  So I blew this one. The Crystal Cathedral/Schuller Family. I predict that the Schuller family will call it quits when they leave the Crystal Cathedral.  I believe they have a year and a half before they have to vacate the premises to their new Catholic owners.  After looking at the spreadsheet and the number of people still left at that time, I think they’ll cut their losses and call it a good run. SUCCESS:  Though I didn’t quite get it totally right, the Schuller family (with the exception of the grandson) are all gone from the Crystal Cathedral.  Of course, I didn’t predict the $5 million lawsuit, or the new (just this week) article from the National Enquirer that said that the senior Schullers may now be mostly destitute and lose their home. Christian Lady Gaga. As the Christian community normally does, we’ll have some great rip-offs this year… probably to include a Christian Lady Gaga, a new Christian social media twitter rip-off or something like that. SUCCESS:  I guess, kinda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4haIvqBzYM The church around the world will flourish. I think 2012 will be a great year for the church around the world.  It will be mixed here in the US… with real pockets of health developing among younger congregations.  But there will be no shortage of conflict and dying churches to contend with as well. Success on the conflict and dying churches prediction, but that was a given.  According to this article, I got it mostly right. A sad day. Unfortunately… with many big-name Christian leaders aging, we’ll say good-bye to a good number of high-profile leaders this year… either through retirement or death. Not really a tough prediction either.  Some notable deaths:  Chuck Colson and evangelist R. W. Schambach.   Social Media. Some changes coming to social media as we know it.  There will be a new face introduced this year that will give Twitter and Facebook a run for their money.  It will be highly customizable and unique, and will help all of us cut through the clutter that we’re all now experiencing in our social media.  And, no… it will not be Google+. OK… missed this one.  But I might keep this on my list for 2013. Mobile Devices. Phones will continue to get much faster, and do newer and cooler things.  Some great advances for the church will be the new app that automatically silences your phone ringer and disables Angry Birds as you enter the sanctuary. There are now GPS enabled apps that do this… so technically, I got it right.  I still think someone needs to package a ‘church cell phone silencer’ app that shuts down the cell phone ringer when you enter the church (via gps).  Sell it for $.99 to individuals (who don’t want to get embarrassed when their phone rings during the service, or license it to churches for $100k (after all, they want the cell phones to stop ringing during the invitation). Gospel Coalitions. There will be a lot of strife in the Gospel Coalition this year, as they find out exactly how many things they actually disagree on.  The strife will, as in most cases, come from criticism from the outside… from people that don’t like anything, that will attack until something gives. Boy.  Pegged this.  James MacDonald resigned from the Gospel Coalition in January after a flurry or criticism about the Elephant Room 2 invitation to T. D. Jakes.  Later Mark Driscoll steps down as the council as well. Tim Tebow. Super Bowl ring.  If not, it blows the whole “God” theory thing. What?  No Super Bowl ring?  What was God thinking? Humility check time. Denominations. It’s only a matter of time before a mainline denomination falls on hard financial times.  Look for new stories telling about a major denomination’s future in question because of finances. Yep.  Here and here. Southern Baptists. Southern Baptists will probably NOT change their name (even though I’ve actively campaigned that they now be called “Stetzers”).  And if they do change their name… expect about 20 – 30% of current SBC churches to defect and start a new denomination called “Southern Baptists”. They wimped out and decided to opt for a new ‘optional’ name.  That saved the coop I predicted.  I’m defiant enough to go with my first inclination and just call them Stetzers or Stetzerites anyway. Doomsday. You do know that the world is going to end in 2012. Man… Blew that one… I was sure it was the end of the world.  Oh well… another year to blog! What are YOUR predictions for 2013?
Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube
   
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Last week, Pat Robertson came clean.  He said that he had totally missed God’s voice in the 2012 presidential election. How do you feel when someone tells you that they’ve heard directly from God? Have you found that it is usually validated later, or is it usually proven to be false? How do you know if you’ve really heard from God? Here’s our take (and by ‘our’), I mean my Filter co-host Matt Steen and myself: What do you think? Have you ever THOUGHT you heard the voice of God, only to find out later, it wasn’t confirmed? Have you ever trusted in someone that said they heard God’s voice, only to see it repudiated? What has been your experience in this area? Leave your comment below… Thanks, Todd
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I’m thinking we could settle this with an old-fashioned duel. Last man standing wins. Pat Robertson has been accused by evangelical Christian and creationism proponent Ken Ham of “destructive teaching,” after the televangelist stated that the existence of dinosaurs is evidence that Young Earth Creationists are wrong about the planet being 6,000 years old. Christian Broadcasting Network spokesman Chris Roslan told The Christian Post on Friday, however, that “Dr. Robertson stands by his comments.” The controversy arose earlier this week when Robertson, co-hosting his “The 700 Club” program on CBN, dismissed the theory that the earth is only 6,000 years old, which Ken Ham, CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, took offense to. “Not only do we have to work hard to not let our kids be led astray by the anti-God teaching of the secularists, we have to work hard to not let them be led astray by compromising church leaders like Pat Robertson,” Ham said Wednesday in a post on Facebook. “Pat Robertson gives more fodder to the secularists. We don’t need enemies from without the church when we have such destructive teaching within the church,” Ham added in the statement shared with those following his non-profit Christian apologetics ministry on Facebook. Ham took offense to comments Robertson made earlier this week on his show, when responding to a viewer’s question about what to tell children about dinosaurs and the Bible. // Read more here: Ken Ham of Creation Museum Slams Robertson for Dismissing Young Earth Theory. Just what we need.  More Christians fighting. Over creationism. I wonder if God is chuckling or if he’s just not amused. What do you think? Todd
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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)
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Take a look… what do you think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7UXzLvhVKc Have you ever been stuck by thinking that you heard the voice of God, but were proven wrong? How does that happen? And would it be better if you, me, and Pat would keep our mouths shut in the first place? I don’t know… I’m just asking. Todd
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This is from a post I wrote on January 4 of this year about Pat Robertson and his annual predictions he gets from his direct revelation from God. God told Pat who our next president should be… but told him not to talk about THAT. Here are some of the better/worse points of the 2012 revelation.  (And I do love how God speaks to Pat the first week of January each year… I think it’s kinda cool that God’s on our calendar.) Your country will be torn apart by internal stress. Expect chaos and paralysis. There must be an urgent call to prayer. A time of maximum stress and peril… this country will begin desinigrating.  God said it will be worse than it has ever been since CBN was started (around 1960). The good news is, the world will not end because of the Mayan calendar. Nor because of Iran or North Korea’s nuclear threat.  And not from earthquakes or volcanoes or massive power failures. The stress and peril will be caused by economic collapse. Ok… today I ask Pat for some clarification. Clarify for us, Pat:  Did the election result confirm what God told you?  (A simple yes or no would be great there). Also… as you read these predictions after the election, does it change YOUR view of them? (There are many that actually think that the election may very well bring on, or at least add to the probability that, there will be an economic collapse.) Of course, we should call people to pray. And the internal stress part sure feels right today. But why… oh why… Pat, did God not allow you to talk about this before the election?  And will he let you tell us more now? Inquiring minds want to know. Todd  
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Pat Robertson’s bad attempt at a wife beating joke. He starts to recover somewhat, but ends badly.  Here… you’ll see: The best thing Pat Robertson could do for himself is to stop doing these Q&A sessions from his audience. That said… how would YOU have advised this man to respond to his wife? (Other than move to Saudi Arabia). Todd HT:  Denny Burk  
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