Sunday, August 9, 2009

Perry Noble's bad advice and love of the world

NewSpring Church Senior Pastor Perry Noble is running full steam ahead with the "score" and "scoreboard" slogan lately. James Duncan from Pajama Pages has been discussing this "scoreboard" defense used by Perry Noble to counter or should I say ignore his critics.

I want to examine this Twitter post from Perry Noble and take a hard look at some of his more colorful antics at NewSpring Church. I will focus on his statement that "God did not call the church to withdraw from the world" and compare it with what God told us about the world in the Bible. I have already dealt with the "scoreboard" logic in my blog Confessing Christ, false professions, and the numbers game, so I'm not going to get into that part again.

The first bad advice from Perry Noble is assuming that pastors and leaders can run up a spiritual scoreboard. This is very flawed advice that puts the emphasis on the pastor and church leadership rather than on Jesus Christ. This type of advice leads to a cult of personality with heavy emphasis on the leaders and church culture. I would suggest that Perry Noble ponder the Doctrines of Grace a little more or think about what he is posting to Twitter before he posts it.

Let's move on to the subject of the church not withdrawing from world. I fully agree with Perry Noble that the church must not withdraw from the world (Refer to my blog "In the hedge and on the highway" for my thoughts on how we reach out to people). Perry Noble is big on outreach and numbers. He is always referring back to his slogan, "to make the name of Jesus famous one life at a time!" as his rallying battle cry. To me, this slogan is just another marketing tool used to promote NewSpring Church. It's not like Jesus needs us to make His name famous. I'll put aside my prejudice of this slogan for a moment to say I fully agree with it and Perry Noble's vision. In making the name of Jesus famous should we not focus on more than just saying the name and counting heads? In making Jesus' name famous we should show the world Jesus as Jesus is described in the Bible. Perry Noble's visions for making Jesus' name famous does not accurately reflect the outline found in the Bible for spreading Jesus' name. Let's dig a little deeper into Noble's rabbit hole and see what we find. As a former NewSpring Church member, I have some first hand knowledge of how NewSpring's rabbit holes work.

When Perry Noble gives advice that the church is not to withdraw from the world it sounds really good until you get to know what Noble is referring to with this statement. Perry Noble uses the hooks and snares of the world to bait and switch unregenerated people into visiting NewSpring Church. This tactic works, and it works well. The proof is easily seen in the numbers of people who attend NewSpring Church.

Let's examine some of Perry Noble's advice and actions from the past:

Last Easter Perry Noble used AC\DC's Highway to Hell as an opening song at NewSpring Church (see also Perry Noble's message from AC/DC Sunday). Perry has claimed people were saved because of using AC\DC's "Hell's Bells" . If you read the links, you will see how Perry Noble believed that God used worldly music to spread His Gospel. Perry Noble's severe lack of discernment is seen in his blog called I-Pod as he refers to Rob Bell (see link for Bell's heresy) as a preacher he listens to on a regular basis. Perry Noble also uses some very colorful language(cussing), crude language, prophetic visions , and bad advice. He promotes worldly songs like those by Usher (refer to Can I enjoy movies and culture and still be a Christian? around the 35-40 minute mark) that encourage people toward sinful thoughts, and uses lust- filled songs like "Crazy in Love" (refer to NewSpring's "Crazy in Love” by Beyonce) all in the name of making Jesus name famous. These antics are used by Perry Noble to help spread the the Gospel of Jesus Christ by reaching out and appealing to culture to draw those without Jesus into the church.

We can see in these examples how Perry Noble details what he means by "not withdrawing from the world" which is translated: "Use the world's music, tactics, and language to be relevant to reach the lost. As long as we worship Jesus this is all good because the ends justify the means." Perry Noble adds to his statement by saying, "Run up the score" which is translated: "When you are criticized for your actions, simply point to the number of members attending your church as evidence God is working in your ministry through your vision".

Now let's examine Perry Nobles's actions and claims using the Berean example found in Acts 17:11.

Acts 17:11 (New International Version)

11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

In the Bible it clearly tells us not to love the world (1 John 2:14-18 ,1 John 2:15, Romans 8:5-8) or to be held captive by it (Colossians 2:1-9).

The Bible tells us to abstain from evil (1 Peter 2:10-12 ,1 Thessalonians 5:21-23) and to be of good reputation (1 Timothy 3:1-7 , Titus 1:1-9 ,Titus 2:6-8, Philippians 2:14-16)

The Bible tells us to not have a filthy mouth (Col 3:8).

When we compare the Scriptures to Perry Noble, we see a problem with his ministry. Do we see Perry Noble when we read this passage?

Titus 2:11-13 (New American Standard Bible)

11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Lastly, I want to discuss Perry Noble's distortion of Acts 17:22-24 he presented in Can I enjoy movies and culture and still be a Christian? 08/10/08 from week 5 of the "You asked for it" series. This is a very good illustration by Perry Noble that shows us exactly what he means by not withdrawing from the world. The way Perry Noble twists and distorts the Apostle Paul is borderline heresy. Noble paints a picture as if Paul dug deep into Greek culture. I'm sorry, Mr. Noble, but in Greece Zeus was considered the god of the gods and many people knew about Zeus. It's not like the quote that Paul used was unknown except for an enlightened few who followed Greek culture. This did not mean that Paul spent his time partaking in the Greek culture. I challenge anyone reading this blog to listen to this message and simply study the Scriptures. One thing we must keep in mind is that Paul was dealing with a false religion and not popular culture as implied in this sermon by Perry Noble.

In this account of the unknown god in Acts 17, Perry Noble's carnal interpretation of this event fails the test of the Scriptures. One would think Paul studied and regularly used Greek pagan culture in his preaching to the Greeks according to Noble's presentation of this event. Paul did not bring this idol, Greek culture, or any relevant secular works into the church to draw the Greek people in. Paul did not use the relevant excuse to put worldly culture into the church like Noble uses to justify his antics at NewSpring Church. Paul warned us against these things in Romans 12:1-3, 2 Corinthians 10:1-3, Romans 6:1-3, Romans 6:14-16 so why would Paul tell these Greeks they are the exception to the rule? If this was the case then why did Paul even bother writing 1 and 2 Corinthians?

I can explain the point of Acts 17:22-24 using myself as an example. If I walked by a group of Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses debating who God is and how we know who Jesus was, then this would be very similar to what happened in Acts 17. Because I have studied the Mormon and the Jehovah Witness faiths, I can answer their questions using their terminology about who Jesus Christ really is by simply leading them to the true Scriptures. If I took Perry Noble's explanation of this event as a guide to my walk with Jesus, then I would add Mormon/Jehovah Witness culture and literature: The Book of Mormon and the New World Translation, to my study and include them in my sermons. Taking Noble's advice a little further, I could go back to my church to add Mormon and Jehovah Witness books, study guides, magazines, lesson plans, etc... in the church to lure Mormons and Jehovah Witness into the house of God. I could turn right around and claim that because I used Mormon/Jehovah Witness culture that God used this "relevant" material to lead "x" number of people to Christ! Clearly this poor explanation from Perry Noble about the Apostle Paul is laying a foundation of foolish advice, worldliness, confusion, and carnality in the Christian faith. The bottom line is Perry Noble willingly twisted the Scriptures out of context in order to defend his love of the world and the world's culture that holds him captive. Noble jumps through hoops in order to make the Word of God sound as if it justifies Noble's rebellion and love of the world.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 (New American Standard Bible)

14Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

16Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
17"Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord.
And I will welcome you.

The Scriptures command those of us in Christ to separate ourselves from loving the world, abstain from any appearance of evil, to live a life striving to live godly for Jesus. The old Perry Noble "No Perfect People Allowed" defense does not justify loving the world and walking in carnality. When God inspired the prophets to write the Bible, God clearly understood that we are not perfect people which is why He gave us 1 John 2:1-3 as a reminder when we fall short and sin. God wants us to love Him above all. Mr. Noble, you cannot mix light with darkness no matter how many members you have, your church's good works, how many million dollar buildings you have, etc... and then say God is telling you to do so. God will never tell us to use sin as a tool to spread the Gospel. The father of lies will tell us that sin is not that bad as long as something good comes from it. In other words, Satan will lead us to believe that if worldliness leads to a profession of Christ then worldliness is justified because it helps make Jesus' name famous.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (New International Version)

13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.


  1. Your image of God is WAY TOO SMALL.

  2. How is my image of God way too small? Explain please.

  3. So you ban me from YouTube, because I didn't apologize with in 4 minutes of you asking me to?
    I'm sorry that I thought you were blocking me before I didn't know youtube was acting slow. Will you unblock me now, so that we can continue the discussion?

  4. You can address this issues here since this blog is the subject of the YouTibe video. This way people who read the replies will be able to refer to this blog for more info.

    I'm not interested in questions to answer questions. I laid out the Scriptures about Perry Noble's errors and love of the world. Please address them directly.

  5. But the Scriptures don't say anything about Perry. Therefore it is your job to show why they relate. I am bringing in more scripture to show that your accusation regarding cussing does not stick.
    1) Amos 4:1 shows that there is Biblical precedent for caloing people names.
    2)"One thing we must keep in mind is that Paul was dealing with false religion and not popular culture." Most of popular culture IS false religion (materialism, worshiping children) So Perry WAS dealing with false religion.
    3) What is worldly music? I garuntee you can't give a good definition of worldly vs. sacred music. BTW Hells Bells was played, but not sung. Surely the music without the words (the notes themselves) are not worldly.

  6. btw it is not the use of scripture that I object too.
    Sola Scriptura

  7. your 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 reference is talking about marriage. NOT preaching, NOT methodology.

  8. Titus 2:11-13
    NewSpring has not promoted worldly desires.
    If you wish to show that they have then you will need to define worldly (good luck cause The Bible does not define worldly)

  9. Actually the Bible does define worldly. I referenced it.

    Clearly you are going to defend Perry Noble no matter what the Scriptures say.

    I'm done here because I refuse to go in circles with you.

  10. You didn't reference it anywhere in this article. You quoted scripture that just says "worldy" or "foul mouth".

    Clearly you are going to hate on Perry no matter what I try to bring up (the way I see you can not go against the Amos verse I brought up, or that you clearly have no real definition of worldly music, since you dodge everything put to you.)

    Perry may be wrong for saying scoreboard but you are just as bad if not worse.

    BTW a remedial lesson in critical thinking will show you that my arguments are linear, and you refuse to debate where they lead, therefore they are not circular.

    But go ahead and delete, ban, or just not touch on anything I have debated for.

  11. You seem to have a belief that God wants us to exempt from everything "carnal." By reading your blog your view of carnal seems to be anything that does not explicitly state that Jehovah is Lord. Therefore, I would request you remove Song of Songs and Esther from your Bible. You also seem to be opposed to people coming to Christ situationally. If Highway to Hell brings a man to Christ, then why oppose it? Is your God so small that he cannot use that song to bring men to him? Mine isn't. As for scoreboard, Perry does not mention numbers of people in his church in the videos you linked to. He mentions the number of people being saved, families being brought back together, people's lives being changed. If you are opposed to him opposing you and others who tear down those that bring people to Christ, thus those numbers would worry you. You claim to love God and his church, but use your blog to try and hinder those who do that. Paul walked among the shrines that the people had built (no mention of Zues btw, no idea where his name came from and Paul brought nothing into any physical church building as those didn't exist then) enough to know their desires and hearts. If we walk among other people's religous texts and music and desires we would know their heart and be able to show them how Christ fills all of them. However you seem to believe that people will come and visit a place that is foreign and uncomfortable with them and listen openly to people who don't know them. You may know Mormon's religion by reading The Book of Mormon (a sin in your mind btw, shame on you for learning their ways), but they won't know that by looking at you. But if they see their texts in the church they know that we have an open mind and are willing to discuss their heart with foreknowledge and openness. Your scripture regarding cursing (Col. 3:8) does not give us a list. But with your view we must assume that anything said with a negative or angry connotation is evil. Thus every word you have said, which is meant to portray a man as a bad person and comes off as angry to readers, is evil. You my friend have broken Col. 3:8. I should start a blog. Perry Noble is not my first choice in pastors. There are things he says that I disagree with. However he has a passion for Christ and seeing people saved. If you deny that then these posted clips and angry bloggers are all you've read and heard of Noble. If you deny his ministry then you deny the work of God, for every week people come to Christ, mend broken marriages, and build a more Christ-centered life through the ministry. He is charismatic and thus people notice him the most, but he tries to bring attention to the others who do God's work elsewhere. The children's ministry workers, volunteers who counsel people, the other pastors who lead their ministries. Perry is just the Sunday speaker. If he is the face of Newspring, it is only because he is passionate and people notice passionate people. If you love God like I believe you to, then support all of His ministries, even Newspring and its affiliates.