On Perry Noble: Christ Will Not be Divided

The past few days the rumors have swirled regarding Perry Noble and his future at Newspring Church.
This morning, at Newspring, the news was confirmed by the church: Newspring “made a difficult and painful decision” to make a change.
As the rumors picked up steam over the past few days, I began seeing from some pockets an almost celebratory response to what – then – may or may not have been the case. And I am sure in the coming days, weeks, and months that will only continue by those pockets.
Satan and sin are behind Perry’s fall – Is that who or what you follow?

Today I grieve.

First, for the body of Christ; second, for Perry Noble and family; third, for the congregation of Newspring Church; and, finally, myself.

First, the body of Christ:

Perry Noble was the senior pastor of one of the largest churches in America. Though I differed with them in many aspects of ministry, the fall of Perry Noble is not something anyone inside The Church should be celebrating.  When a high-profile leader in Christianity falls, the effects are far-reaching.  Today this is felt beyond the walls of Newspring Church. Many outside Christianity will point in and snide in the direction of The Church. Many inside Christianity are broken, saddened, and many may have serious doubts about a leader they believed so much in.

“But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided aginst itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls” – Luke 11:17

Second, Perry Noble and family:

This leads me to Perry Noble and family. I am sure there are many details we do not know. This is what we do know though: Perry Noble often spoke of wanting to finish well; Perry was always very honest about shortcomings and past failures; and so today I can only assume that Perry is grieving for the damage he knows he has caused – both inside the church and inside his family.

“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness” – 1 John 2:9

Third, the congregation of Newspring Church:

Today is tough for many thousands of members at the church Perry Noble planted.  Many are saddened, many are angry, and many are now doubting many things.  A Church is hurting. For that I grieve.

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” – Romans 16:17-18

Fourth, myself:

This serves as a great reminder of how easy it is be to be devoured by Satan and his force. I pray to use this unfortunate scenario to drive myself deeper into His word so that I am able to stand firm.

The Christian response:

Romans 3:23 says ‘For all have sinned..”, not some, not only famous pastors, but all have sinned and fallen short of the standard of God. That includes you and I; all.

1) Pray.

Pray for Perry, pray for Newspring, pray for Perry’s family, pray for yourself, and pray fervently for your pastor!

2) Forgive.

1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. That is what the Bible says. Who are we to not forgive when Christ is ready, willing, and able to forgive Perry Noble.

3) Guard.

Guard your tongue; guard improper judgment; and guard yourself from attack.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged..” (Matthew 7:1-2) Meaning, rumor the plank from your own eye before attempting to remove a speck from a brothers eye.
Be on guard for the following ploy’s of Satan – the 4 D’s:
  1. Deception

  2. Division

  3. Diversion

  4. Discouragement

4) Offer Grace.

Christians, we have been graced with a gift that we could never earn. To be in the presence of a Holy God as sinners is remarkable. We can strive daily and it would never be good enough because a Holy (perfect) God cannot allow sin. So, His son – Jesus Christ – leaves perfection, leaves heaven; is born; He lived and breathed and felt all that we will; and then He died on the cross in order so that it can be counted to us as righteousness.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound….

5) Unite!

Satan has made a grand attempt at dividing the body of Christ. The only problem is: the gospel does not divide. Unite behind the Word of God in prayer, forgiveness, in being on guard, and as we all offer grace to a human who – like us all – needs all of that!

Let us not divide the body of Christ.

On May 27th – Perry wrote about “Five Rules About Failure” that I am going to repackage in hope that it finds him and provides hope, or provides others hope.

1 – If you are alive then there is still hope (if you’re not dead then God is not done!)

2 – The biggest breakthrough is often right after the perceived breakdown!

3 – Blaming other people or circumstances for the trouble in our lives (and accepting zero responsibility) means failure is imminent!

4 – Our failures in the past do not have to be the focus of our future (in Christ…what we did is not who we are!)

5 – No matter how dark it seems (think tomb sealed with a guard outside) God is able to do the “impossible” (think resurrection!)