This is a sickening and unfinished story of a professor and his family who is targeted by mega-church staff.
He blogged – he dared make some mildly critical posts about this church and a few staff.
What happened to this man and his family over a series of months as church staff targeted him for character assassination, identity theft, cruelty, slander, stalking, threats…is terrifying.
This is a church which has a staff of about 109 people, and about 15 thousand attendees. It is independent and leadership answers to no-one. Think about it, this church is the size of a town and leadership answers to no-one.
You can read Dr. Duncan`s story here.
A great deal has happened since he posted his chronological account and you can follow what has happened since at his blog.
Dr. Duncan, who is an assistant professor of communication at Anderson University, was interviewed by Chris Rosebrough.
This hour long interview goes into the evil of complicit silence, arrogance of unaccountability, culture of violence, and crushing of critics. This is a mild excerpt from Holy Rage at the Spring:
On August 2, Maxwell asks his NewSpring readers if anyone has any ideas to further harass me. Jason Moorehead, a NewSpring pastor, lives just a few houses behind mine, in the neighborhood from which we had welcomed kids into our yard. It was Moorehead who was receiving Maxwellâ€™s messages in his Twitter feeds. The very next day, Maxwell is chirping about kids playing on my zip line. More than just reading, did NewSpringâ€™s pastor feed content to Maxwell? I donâ€™t know for sure, but the only other way that Maxwell knew about kids playing on my zip line was for him to have parked outside our house to watch my son play, or to enter my property to see what was back there. Perversely, the Moorehead theory is the most comforting.
Even so, once we connected those dots, all those possibilities were rather terrifying for my wife. She, quite reasonably, feels violated and unsafe in our own home.
As he points out in the audio interview, none of what occurred is innocuous.
This content is not appropriate for younger readers, it is not safe for the spiritually sensitive.
This is bone chilling.
Months of willful, depraved, escalating bullying by the perps on the church staff does not leave anyone unscathed.
Update: I’d like to make a link above more prominent because of concerns expressed in the comments by someone who follows US mega church ministries. Here part of the statement from New Spring Church:
Recently, certain events occurred that Pastor Perry and the Churchâ€™s leadership feel the NewSpring Church family needs to know about.
Earlier this year, a critic of the church from the Anderson community created a critical blog site and posted numerous blogs disagreeing with the methods of NewSpring Church and the messages that Pastor Perry has preached, including basic theological doctrine.
In February an employee of the church met with this individual in an attempt to resolve any misunderstandings and listen to his concerns. Since that meeting, the frequency and intensity of the critical blogs have increased.
In the summer of 2009, one NewSpring employee and two volunteers, acting on their own accord and unbeknownst to the Church, began a wholly inappropriate campaign directed at the author of the blog site. None of their actions were known to, or condoned by, the Church or its leadership in any way.
Update: I’ve read every post about what the Duncan family went through. I’ve read Dr. Duncan’s blog (yes, it took a couple of days and I learned a lot). One of the better posts was by Phoenix Preacher who gave James Duncan some advice.
My advise to the blogger?
Noble will survive and prosper and you will be demonized for life.
His survival will embolden him and he will learn that he is indeed bullet and blog proof.
Been there, done that.
Butts in the pews cover and pay for a multitude of sins and few will leave his church over this.
Nobody really cares as long as the show is good and the props are refreshed on a timely basis.
I take that back;
Jesus cares, but nobody will know that until He returns to finish cleaning up the mess.
Duncan has told his story and taught his lessons (after reading his blog I got romping around Ecclesiastes -seemed like a good place to go after reading so many opinions;^). He gave readers room to think and he spoke to critics gracefully on the front porch of his blog. Here’s the declaration:
I couldn’t really think of how to say this, so I’ll resort to a bit of cricket speak, if you’ll indulge me.
I think it’s time to declare the innings closed and retire to the pavilion.
Pajama Pages will stay here as an archive, but I don’t foresee any more new posts for a while. After all that I’ve written over the last nine months, and especially in the last 10 days, if you don’t see what I’m saying yet, no more words from me are going to get that done.