Signs You’ve Become An Unthinking Sovereign Grace Drone…

April 6, 2010 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

Signs you’ve become an unthinking Sovereign Grace drone: 

  1. You believe that your pastors are “serving” you by granting you the privilege of doing work for them;
     
  2. Likewise, you believe that your pastors are “serving” you when they permit you to allow them to use your vacation home for free;
      
  3. You’d swear in a court of law that you regularly attend “Bible study,” when what you actually mean is that you go to your SGM small group and talk about the previous Sunday’s teaching under the tight supervision of your small-group leader;
     
  4. You’d feel an overwhelming sense of honor if you were to be asked to become a small-group leader;
     
  5. You use words like “commend” and “humbly” in everyday conversation;
     
  6. You believe that it’s perfectly acceptable to confront casual church acquaintances about the sins and shortcomings you see in their lives;
     
  7. When you read this blog, all you can think about is how you’re going to point out how sinful the commenters are for discussing SGM’s issues publicly;
     
  8. You believe that any statement that is not wholeheartedly complimentary to and in complete agreement with your pastors cannot be uttered aloud, or – if you made such a statement – you would believe that you had engaged in gossip;
     
  9. You believe that if you find yourself questioning your pastor’s behavior or doubting his sincerity, you can go to him, openly ask him about your concerns, and then be completely confident that he will give you an answer that is 100% honest full disclosure;
     
  10. You find yourself expending mental energy on “believing the best” of your pastors, putting the most positive spin possible on the things they do and say, even when common sense would seem to indicate such interpretations are silly;
     
  11. You have very few – if any – close friendships with non-SGM people;
     
  12. You believe that your pastors have been endowed by God with special skills that enable them to “watch over your soul” – which means that they have a better grasp of your spiritual health and your needs than you yourself do;
     
  13. You believe that your fellow SGM church members should be “closer than family” to you;
     
  14. You eagerly read whatever books are promoted by your pastor from the pulpit;
     
  15. You believe it’s hugely unlikely that John Piper could be wrong about anything relating to theology;
     
  16. You believe that CJ Mahaney has close friendships with the likes of John Piper, John MacArthur, Mark Dever, and Al Mohler;
     
  17. You seriously believe that the men listed in #16 actually sit around shooting the breeze and “correcting one another” as part of their deep friendships;
     
  18. You believe that these men have fully investigated everything there is to know about CJ and Sovereign Grace Ministries and wholeheartedly endorse the “family of churches”;
     
  19. You see nothing odd about the descriptive phrase “family of churches” and would argue passionately that SGM is not a denomination;
     
  20. You believe that your SGM church is led by “elders.”
     
  21. You believe that SGM as an organization has systems in place to hold your pastor accountable…to the average church member;
     
  22. You believe that the congregation can have input into your church’s major financial decisions;
     
  23. You believe that starting another SGM church in an already-church-saturated suburb is “missions” work;
     
  24. You believe that being permitted – after an arduous vetting process – to change your job, sell your home, uproot your family, and move across the country to one of these new SGM churches is “sacrificing for the sake of the gospel”;
     
  25. You believe that “the gospel” is mostly about your sin;
     
  26. You find yourself thinking and talking about your sin quite frequently;
     
  27. You at least occasionally find yourself feeling misunderstood or wrongly assessed by your church leaders, but when this happens, you immediately tell yourself that your discomfort is being caused by your own sin nature and is therefore something you should squelch;
     
  28. Your family has made lifestyle choices – about things like whether or not you homeschool your children or spank them for certain behaviors or are a one-income family – because of the example and teachings of your church leaders;
     
  29. Sometimes you have allowed church peer pressure to influence you to make choices that you either regret or wouldn’t ordinarily have made;
     
  30. You wholeheartedly believe that SGM is both “Reformed” and “Charismatic”;
     
  31.  For that matter, you believe whatever your SGM leaders tell you about SGM…even when your own observations would contradict what your leaders say;
     
  32. When watching the Super Bowl, you believe that you are being “more Godly” when you switch to C-SPAN during the commercials;
     
  33. You believe that CJ Mahaney is humble;
     
  34. You use your Facebook status to sing your pastor’s and church’s praises;
     
  35. You believe that inappropriately-clad women are at least 50% responsibile for men’s lust issues;
     
  36. You see nothing odd whatsoever about giving one of the guys from SGM headquarters a standing ovation when he visits your church;
     
  37. You are willing to spend a considerable amount of money to send your kids to the Harris twins’ “Rebelution” conferences and help them buy all sorts of books and materials while there;
     
  38. You believe it is “more honoring to God” to save your first kiss for your wedding day;
     
  39. If you married while in SGM, you wanted people to believe that you and your spouse did not kiss before you made it to the altar;
     
  40. You would never dream of questioning whether nepotism played a part in the fact that so many leaders’ offspring (or their spouses) are hired for plum leadership or pastoral positions;
     
  41. You think it’s perfectly acceptable for a pastor to have no college degee or formal seminary training;
     
  42. You see nothing ironic or questionable about SGM’s “Pastors College”;
     
  43. You can’t fathom living your Christian life “to the fullest” without attending a Sovereign Grace church;
     
  44. Consequently, you wouldn’t live anywhere where there was not a Sovereign Grace church, even if that meant giving up a great job promotion or some other move that would be clearly advantageous to your family;
     
  45. Although you’ve experienced some unpleasant things in your SGM church, you would never think of leaving; in fact, thoughts of leaving your SGM church fill you with fear and a sense of hopelessness;
     
  46. Whenever you’ve experienced one of those unpleasant things, you immediately tell yourself, “Well, no church is perfect”;
     
  47. Whenever you state an opinion in front of your church friends, you find yourself qualifying your statements with lengthy disclaimers about how you might just be wrong;
     
  48. You laugh uproariously at CJ Mahaney’s jokes, especially when he does his falsetto cackle and claps his hands;
     
  49. You sincerely believe that if you have a legitimate complaint about your pastor, you can go to him and explain yourself and he will then admit his fault and change accordingly;
     
  50. In conjunction with #49, you believe that if your pastor does not admit fault or change, then your complaint simply could not have been very legitimate and that the fault is therefore your own;
     
  51. You put more stock in your pastor’s opinion than the opinions of other significant people in your life, like your parents;
     
  52. You are convinced that all of life’s problems can ultimately be boiled down to sinful choices;
     
  53. If you discovered that a church friend held to a theological position that differed significantly from that of your pastor, you would be concerned;
     
  54. You believe that SGM has helped you grow spiritually, even as you’re also finding yourself feeling increasingly weary and joyless;
     
  55. You think it’s a step toward spiritual maturity to set aside your natural preferences and make friends with someone you don’t really like, just because he or she is part of your SGM small group;
     
  56. You believe that “dating” is a risky endeavor that will almost inevitably lead a person into spiritual compromise…unless the peson is married, at which point “date night” becomes a biblical mandate;
     
  57. Any criticism of SGM fills you with an emotion that is akin to anger;
     
  58. You always make an effort to attend SGM churches while on vacation;  in fact, on occasion you’ve even planned your vacations around such visits;
     
  59. You believe that the people who have left SGM did so primarily because they just couldn’t handle SGM’s spiritual rigor;
      
  60. You believe that non-SGM Christians are missing out on “the best” church by not being part of SGM;
        
  61. You almost cannot wait to tell everyone here how wrong this list is and how “your SGM church is different.”
     
    EDITED TO ADD:
     
  62. You would find it much easier to have a cordial, respectful, and loving conversation with an avowed athiest who was declaring that God does not exist than with another Christian believer who was questioning some aspect of SGM;
     
  63. [Reader submission:] You believe that seeking out your sin to destroy it (mortification) is akin to or even synonymous with seeking God;
     
  64. The prospect of finding and becoming part of a non-SGM church seems nearly impossible;

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